SPL

Michael Beale delighted with Rangers after sealing Viaplay Cup semi-final spot

By Sports Desk September 27, 2023

Rangers manager Michael Beale hailed a “good night” after his side beat Livingston 4-0 at Ibrox to reach the semi-finals of the Viaplay Cup.

After a bright start to the game, Abdallah Sima fired the hosts ahead just 10 minutes in before a brilliant solo effort from Ridvan Yilmaz doubled the lead in the second half.

They capped the match off with two quickfire goals in the final 10 minutes as Sima found the net from a deflection before Ryan Jack struck in stoppage time.

The win came on the back of a lacklustre 1-0 win against Motherwell in the cinch Premiership at the weekend, and Beale was pleased with how his side played.

“We won a third game in seven days, another clean sheet, we’re in a semi-final so it’s a good night for us,” he said.

“We just stayed with the ball a bit more first half, we were a bit more patient, I thought at times we could speed up a little bit, but in terms of our general possession it was much better than the weekend.

“Abdallah showed the way with his running off the ball, we need to do a bit more of that and by the end of the game we did.”

Beale also provided an injury update on Yilmaz, who was substituted shortly after scoring, and Kemar Roofe, who came off at half-time.

He said: “Ridvan was cramp and Kemar is a groin problem so we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Rangers will now meet with Hearts in the semi-final at Hampden Park in November.

Yilmaz’s stunning solo effort in the second half was arguably the pick of the goals after he made a great run from his own half down the centre of the pitch before firing the ball into the bottom corner.

He said: “(I’m) delighted for him because he’s had a rough first year and a bit to his Rangers career because he’s showed moments and flashes of why the club invested in him and why he was such a big talent in Turkey, in the national team so young, but obviously injuries have held him back.

“Hopefully that’s the start of him showing what he can do more regularly.”

Defeat knocked Livingston out of the competition, with Rangers’ victory kicked off by Sima’s finish in the first half.

The forward appeared to nudge Jamie Brandon off the ball before cutting inside to smash in the top corner and Livi manager David Martindale believes it was a foul.

“Disappointed because I did think it was a foul, I’ll be honest,” he said.

“Never got it but I thought we were spooked the first 15 minutes, I thought we struggled to get to grips with our shape.

“Then the second half, the second part of the first half I thought we managed to build ourselves back into the game, we limited them to very few chances because the first maybe 20/22 minutes something along those lines, there was a lot of chances going behind us quite a bit.

“I thought the second part of the first half we managed to build ourselves into the game, get ourselves in at half-time 1-0, had a chat, had a reshape and I thought we started the second half really well.

“I thought we were doing OK then we gave away a cheap goal, individual errors within that phase of play which was disappointing.”

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