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Rangers exit UEFA Youth League to Sevilla

A tough afternoon for Rangers’ B side in the UEFA Youth League Playoffs at Dumbarton Stadium as they were defeated 1-0 by Sevilla thanks to a goal from Carlos Álvarez.

The afternoon started off scrappy from both sides as the players were getting used to the muddy playing field at Dumbarton and they struggled to maintain control of the ball. Rangers seemed to dominate the first 15 minutes, with all of the half chances going their way. However, the biggest chances of the first half fell to Sevilla’s Antonio Zarzana, whose shot went just by the post.

The atmosphere from the Dumbarton crowd edged the home team on, who were looking to get a chance at goal, but it was not to be in the first half as both teams went back to the changing rooms with the score at 0-0.

The second half saw the speed of the game increase drastically from both sides. Sevilla took advantage with a goal from their star man Carlos Álvarez, who opened the scoring in 49 minutes after following up from his initially blocked shot and finishing from just under six yards out. This resulted in mass celebrations from the players, staff and few Sevilla fans who made the long trip to Dumbarton.

The game included stand out performances from two players in particular: Alex Lowry of Rangers, and Carlos Álvarez of Sevilla. The former, who has been named a few times in the senior squad recently, controlling the game from midfield and getting the fans going with his exciting runs, and the latter getting the all-important goal for the travelling side. Álvarez’s diminutive size and style will likely draw comparisons to all-time great, Diego Maradona, who also spent time in Sevilla in his senior career. Based on his performance today, he is certainly one to watch for the future.

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After the goal, the intensity of the game was once again altered. This time, to a more intense and physical game, as Rangers showed their frustration. This frustration only increased after a scuffle between the groups of players following a free kick awarded to Rangers.

Against the run of play and totally off the ball, Sevilla’s Marcelo Exposito Jimenez appeared to headbutt Rangers’ Alex Lowry, which resulted in a red card and subsequent back and forths between Sevilla players and the referee.

Despite several chances from both sides throughout the remainder of the game, the fixture finished 1-0 in favour of the Spanish side, Sevilla who advanced in the competition. The result sees the end of Rangers’ excellent run in the UEFA Youth League.

Rangers B’s Manager, David McCallum expressed his feelings after the game: “A little bit frustrated at the moment, just fresh on the emotions of how the game panned out, we knew it’d be a tough game. We knew Sevilla had some good individual players. The first half we carried a bit of a threat, we had some good opportunities to go and get at them. Second half when they score their goal, it changes the way they play, it started to make it (the game) a little frustrating, the game slows down a little bit. We had probably three different chances to get an equaliser but unfortunately we didn’t take them.”

David McCallum’s side face East Stirlingshire next in the Scottish Lowland League on Saturday at Dumbarton Stadium.

Rangers: Hogarth, Devine, Fraser, King, McClelland, Miller, Lowry, McKinnon (c) , Ure, Lindsay, McCausland. Substitutes: Budinauckas, Allen, Yfeko, Allan, Lyall, Weston, Wilson.

Sevilla: Flores Lopez, Manchemo Vargas, Martinez Macias, Benavides Fuentes, Salas Valiente, Exposito Jimenez, Zarzana, Juanlu, Fernandez Gomez (c) , Alvarez, Fernandez Talaveron. Substitutes: Gonzalez Romero, Aguilera, Riviera Cruz, Guzman Alonso, Salguero, Bueno Sebastian, Gonzalez Macho.



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