Kota Kinabalu: Queens Park Rangers turned on the style in the second period to thrash Sabah 5-0 in their first ever friendly match held here at the Likas Stadium on Tuesday evening.
They opened their scoring in the 8th minute through Bobby Zamora with a tap in at close range after a header by Anton Ferdinand was blocked by Sabah selection keeper Irwan Jamil.
The English Premier League side started the match in commanding style and they had the first look at goal in the 5th minute when new signing Andy Johnson, put through by a clever pass from Park Ji Sung, had his shot pushed out for a corner by Irwan.
Two minutes later, Andy again had another chance to open the account but this time his shot was deflected by Sabah selection Singapore import Baihaki Kaizan for the corner that resulted in the opening goal.
The second half saw QPR coach Mark Hughes replacing all the players and within three minutes, Irwan pulled out a one handed save from a Djibril Cisse header.
But QPR, playing in their first match of their first Asian tour was not to be denied as Heidur Helguson blasted home from a Cisse cross.
Six minutes later, Jamie Mackie netted the third with a solo effort from close range.
French international Cisse finally found the net in the 73rd minute with a clever chip over Sabah’s Sukma hero Endre S.Tipay who had just come on three minutes earlier to replace Irwan.
Cisse added his second in the 81st minute with a powerful run towards goal before rounding Endre to tap home for the fifth goal.
A capacity crowd of more than 20,000 flooded the stadium to watch the match.
Cisse was later named the best player for the premier league team while Indonesian Octavianus Maniani was named the best player for the Sabah selection squad.
QPR manager Mark Hughes said in the press conference after the match that it was a very good workout for his team despite them having only six training sessions before the match.
“It was a perfect preparation for the players and it fulfilled the object of the tour.
The opposition was good and it was a very good test.”
He also praised the crowd and hoped they enjoyed the match.
Hughes added that he hoped the team will come back again in the future