190216 Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha Image Credit: Reuters

London: Premier League’s Watford were made to sweat to beat lowly Championship club Queens Park Rangers 1-0 on Friday and book their spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the second time in four seasons.

Watford had possession in the first half but struggled to make any inroads against the solid home defence until Etienne Capoue swept a low shot into the net in first half stoppage time.

QPR turned the tables after the break, controlling the midfield but lacking the final touch up front.

Watford, who have never won the competition, put the ball in the net again in the 73rd minute but Andre Gray’s effort was ruled offside in a very narrow call.

The visitors did it well in the final minutes, dropping deep to protect their lead as QPR frantically searched for an equaliser and with captain Toni Leistner missing a golden opportunity from point-blank range .

Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha will, meanwhile, miss the fifth-round tie with Doncaster this weekend after losing an appeal against an additional one-match ban following his red card against Southampton, the FA announced.

Zaha appealed against the extra punishment, which came after he sarcastically applauded referee Andre Marriner following his dismissal, despite accepting a charge of improper conduct.

The Ivory Coast international missed Palace’s win over Fulham before returning against West Ham, but will now serve an additional one-match suspension after his appeal was rejected by an independent regulatory commission, and a £10,000 (Dh47,000 or $13,000) fine upheld.

“Wilfried Zaha will be suspended for Crystal Palace’s game against Doncaster Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday [17 February 2019],” said an FA statement.

“The forward accepted a charge of improper conduct, which followed his behaviour after a second-half dismissal during the Premier League game against Southampton on 30 January 2019, but subsequently appealed against a one match suspension and £10,000 fine.”

Eagles manager Roy Hodgson could now hand Michy Batshuayi his first Palace start on Sunday.

Batshuayi has made two appearances from the substitutes bench following his arrival on loan from London rivals Chelsea on transfer deadline day.