Connect with us

Match Previews & Reports

Rangers secure their place in the Scottish Youth Cup Final after two heroic penalty saves.

This semi-final exchange was much anticipated as both sides comfortably beat their previous opponents to reach the last four of the tournament. Rangers took Hearts 1-0 in a tightly contested affair while Dundee United destroyed Queen of the South 5-0 with a dominant performance. Last time these two faced each other Dundee United ran out victorious in a 4-2 win leaving this match with a sense of revenge for Rangers.

The game began fast-paced and energetic. Within the first minute, Brandon Forbes Dundee United left winger cut inside on his right and tested Mason Munn with a powerful drive into his bottom left corner which was stopped and parried for a corner.

Rangers then began to keep possession well in the midfield but kept things at arm’s length as the defence dictated the play.

Shortly after, Rangers’ first opportunity to go ahead came from a missed kick in the United penalty area. Stevens eagerly looked to pounce on the ball but slipped last minute to delay his shot at goal which was cleared.

Strong challenges from the off set the tone for the game showing both teams wanted to win this Scottish Youth Cup semi-final.

Leyton Grant progressed forward strongly through the Dundee United half and moved the ball onto Christopher Eadie who threaded a lovely ball through the back line to Findlay Curtis who narrowly hit wide.

Approaching the 20th minute Forbes gave Rangers problems as he pursued down the left-hand side. He put a lovely low cross with lots of pace across the face of the Rangers goal but there was no one on the end of it.

The score remained 0-0 frustrating both teams but Rory Macleod took matters into his own hands as he danced well through the Rangers midfield to reach the edge of the box and thundered an effort straight into Mason Munn.

Rangers then began to perk up and respond to the Dundee United danger. Archie Stevens dribbled to the by-line, cutting back a well-controlled layoff to Christopher Eadie whose effort on target was blocked superbly.

However, half-time approached with one minute to go until the sides would be even in a fairly contested half. However, Dundee United scored as their corner was not cleared by the Rangers’ defence. Forbes then latched onto the bouncing ball in the six-yard box and fired it into the bottom left corner to give his side the lead at the break.

The second half commenced and in the 48th minute, Rangers came out of the traps with Eadie winning a penalty after a rash challenge from behind. Eadie then stepped up and buried his spot kick into the bottom left corner making it one apiece in the semi-final.

Rangers then kicked into gear. Winger Findlay Curtis skipped past three players finding Calum Adamson whose stretched effort trickled by the post in a one-on-one situation with Dundee United keeper Lewis Haldane.

Haldane was called into action pulling off a magnificent save as Rangers deflected effort was dipping in until Haldane reached far enough to tip it over the bar keeping his side level.

The half was playing out in a stalemate fashion as neither side had a breakthrough until the 65th minute when Dundee United’s number 10 Macleod penetrated the Rangers backline in a fast break leading to a corner.

Furthermore came more battling and fierce challenges with Cameron and Grant receiving yellow cards.  Then came Forbes again whose effort on the left-hand side of the box was just wide in an attempt to give the tangerines a lead.

Minute 77 came along and Rangers claimed for a penalty. Haldane came out for the ball played through and Eadie went down but the referee saw no contact in the exchange and play was swept on by referee Josh Hay.

The last ten minutes were upon both outfits which set alarm bells ringing. A dink from MacLeod to the back post was headed down by Cleall-Harding but landed into Munns grasp.

In the final minute, Rangers had the opportunity to kill the game off. Stevens made a great run and laid off Gentles who struck low and hard into the keeper’s opposite corner but a strong left hand from Haldane produced penalties after the full-time whistle.

In a nervy penalty shootout to book a place in Hampden, Rangers’ Stevens, Eadie and Burnside made no mistake in scoring their penalties, as well as Dundee United’s MacLeod and Domeracki. Curtis scored the winner and Mason Munn heroically saved two giving Rangers the win at the training centre. 

Rangers Player of the Match: Blaine McClure

McClure was tremendous in creating and dictating play, keeping everything calm and tidy while doing the basics extremely well.

Dundee United Player of the Match: Rory Macleod

Macleod was always at the forefront of any attack, creating chances and being effective on the ball to cause Rangers a lot of trouble.

Rangers Magic Moment:

Eadie winning the penalty for his side and putting it away to get them back into the match when they needed it most.

Dundee United Magic Moment:

Haldane’s terrific last-minute save to keep his side in the match with a strong hand down to his right-hand side.

Rangers U18s

1. Mason Munn

2. Alexander Hutton

3. Cameron Scott

4. Leyton Grant

5. Jack Wyllie

6. Blaine McClure

7. Archie Stevens

8. Calum Adamson

9. Christopher Eadie

10. Paul Nsio

11. Findlay Curtis

21. Alfie Halliwell

12. Arran Kerr

14. Connor Campbell

15. Kerr Robertson

16. Callum Burnside

17. Kieron Willox

18. Joshua Gentles

Dundee United U18s

1. Lewis Haldane

2. Scott Constable

3. Keir Bertie

4. Samuel Cleall-Harding

5. Greg Petrie

6. Alan Domeracki

7. Adam Carnwath

8. Charlie Dewar

9. Ezekiel Cameron

10. Rory MacLeod

11. Brandon Forbes

12. Sean Borland

13. Kyle Wilson

14. Owen Stirton

15. Liam Trotter

16. Harry Welsh

17. Josh Holt

18. Keir Gilligan



More in Match Previews & Reports