QPR's promotion party remains on hold despite twice coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Cardiff in a captivating clash in the npower Championship.

Neil Warnock's side went into the encounter knowing victory would seal their return to the Barclays Premier League after a 15-year absence, although they can now do so with victory over Hull at Loftus Road on Easter Monday.

At the heart of Saturday's clash was enigmatic QPR skipper Adel Taarabt, who showed why he is the Championship's player of the year with two great finishes, the second of which came in the 71st minute to cancel equally impressive first-half efforts from City's star duo Jay Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy.

R's striker Heidar Helguson had promotion within his grasp in the 89th minute, but he could only find the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.

Bothroyd soon broke the deadlock in stunning fashion. The former Arsenal trainee picked up the ball on the right touchline and skipped inside a challenge before curling a delightful left-footed effort from 18 yards into the top corner off the crossbar.

But anything Bothroyd could do, Taarabt could match. The Moroccan saw a corner returned to him on the left but an acute angle mattered little as he planted a stunning curling shot beyond the reach of Stephen Bywater and into the far corner.

Despite the pace of the opening stages slowing slightly, half chances continued to flow at either end. And the majority of the 26,058 inside the Cardiff City Stadium were brought to their feet again in the 35th minute.

Bothroyd was allowed time to send over an inswinging cross from the right which Matthew Connolly failed to deal with, even using his hand in the process, and the ball squirmed through to Bellamy to swivel and smash past Paddy Kenny into the top corner.

Bywater preserved City's lead going into the break, producing a great diving save after Shaun Derry's shot took two deflections.

But Taarabt made sure he did not waste the chance which did come his way in the 71st minute, shrugging off the attentions of Kevin McNaughton to bring down Wayne Routledge's chipped forward pass and beat Bywater from just inside the area.

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Topics:
#Arsenal
#Wayne Routledge
#Heidar Helguson
#Championship
#Craig Bellamy
#Premier League
#Cardiff City
#Matthew Connolly
#Shaun Derry
#Queens Park Rangers
#Kevin McNaughton
#Stephen Bywater
#Hull City
#Adel Taarabt
#Jay Bothroyd
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