QPR 1-0 Sunderland
Fans around all four sides clapped and sang in honour of Alejandro Faurlin on 18 minutes – the same number as the stricken midfielder’s shirt.
But it was 30 seconds before the break that Charlie Austin cheered a packed Loftus Road up with a wonderful hit to bring a first three points of the season.
Faurlin will be out for a minimum nine months after suffering a third ACL injury this week, and his team-mates let it be known how much it meant to them by wearing T-shirts with his name in the pre-match warm-up.
When the match revved up, the bar shook as Leroy Fer let fly from about the same number of yards with Vito Mannone helpless.
Junior Hoilett then turned inside and needed the keeper to first parry and gather a left-foot rasper.
A clever Leroy Fer flick back into the path of Joey Barton needed a desperate block, and when Austin and Matt Phillips took the ball a toe too far that allowed Mannone to gather, it looked as if Rangers would be denied.
As it turned out Fer’s spectacular leap and head back from a corner into Austin’s path was thumped into the roof of the net.
Green’s best save of the game came after 54 minutes when Santiago Vergini hit a low swerve needing the keeper to go full length at his far post.
Armand Traore thought he had made the game safe when he ran on to Bobby Zamora's pass only to screw the ball an inch wide of the far post.
The QPR keeper finished by far the busier and Emanuele Giaccherini's shot through a crowd saw Green bash the ball down in front of him at the last second.
Sunderland’s single first-half effort came straight after when Adam Johnson threaded a ball through to Steven Fletcher who swivelled and hit first time to bring a smart diving stop from Rob Green to his left.
The Black Cats must be sick of the sight of the Loft. It's the second time on the bounce they've lost in W12, and in 2013 it was one of only four wins for Rs. This time they look better equipped to double that and add a few more.3-5-2: Green, Ferdinand, Caulker, Hill; Isla, Barton, Mutch, Phillips, Hoilett (Traore 83); Fer (Taarabt 90), Austin (Zamora 69); subs not used: Murphy, Onuoha, Henry, Dunne