William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final
Rangers 2-2 Celtic (1-1 at FT, Rangers win 5-4 on penalties)
Sunday 17th April 2016, kick-off 12pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow
(Miller 16’, McKay 95’; Sviatchenko 50’, Rogic 106’)
Rangers booked a William Hill Scottish Cup Final with Hibernian after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Celtic.
An early strike from Kenny Miller gave Mark Warburton’s the lead after 16 minutes, but an Eric Sviatchenko header five minutes into the second half forced the game into extra-time. A stunning strike from Rangers’ Barrie McKay and cool Tom Rogic finish for Celtic on either side of the extra-time interval took the game to penalties. Rogic, whose goal levelled the score for Celtic in extra-time, missed the crucial penalty in sudden death which has set-up an all-Championship final.
Mark Warburton made one change to the Rangers team that defeated Peterhead to win the Petrofac Training Cup at Hampden the previous Sunday, with Dean Shiels deputising for the injured Harry Forrester.
For Celtic, Ronny Deila slightly tweaked the side that won away at Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership last weekend, with Gary Mackay-Steven replacing Colin Kazim-Richards.
Both teams had early chances to open the scoring. After nine minutes Kenny Miller found himself through on goal, only for Craig Gordon to thwart the Rangers forward with a fine save.
Moments later, Scott Brown had a golden opportunity to score for Celtic, but the Scotland captain dragged his effort wide.
16 minutes into the game, Rangers broke the deadlock. A spot of pinball in the Celtic penalty box eventually lead to a chance for Miller, who made no mistake with his second shot of the game to fire Mark Warburton’s team into the lead.
The match maintained an often hectic tempo throughout the first-half but it was only Celtic’s Erik Sviatchenko - an early substitute for Dedryk Boyata - who was cautioned by referee Craig Thomson.
With ten minutes to go in the half, Ronny Deila’s team squandered a guilt-edge opportunity to equalise.
A darting counter-attack from Stefan Johansen led to a shot from Leigh Griffiths. His strike hit the post and fell to Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts. Unfortunately for Ronny Deila’s team, Roberts failed to hit the target with an empty net beckoning.
Celtic came out for the second half highly charged, and were back on level terms after only five minutes.
A succession of corners eventually led to a chance for Danish international Erik Sviatchenko. The defender powered a header past Wes Foderingham to send the Celtic fans wild.
Both teams struggled to create any clear-cut chances for the remainder of the half as legs tired, meaning that the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final - for the second time inside two days - went to extra-time.
Five minutes into extra-time, Rangers took the lead through Barrie McKay. Cutting in from the right-wing, the Scotland Under-21 international struck a screamer from 25 yards out to give Craig Gordon no chance.
Extra-time was to provide even more drama, however. A brilliant cross from Kieran Tierney was met by Tom Rogic in the Rangers’ penalty box, and the Australian’s shot curled in to the bottom corner in the opening minute of the second-half. Although Leigh Griffiths struck the bar with a free-kick in the dying stages of the match, the game was to be decided by penalties. Scott Brown and Callum McGregor missed their penalties for Celtic in the shoot-out, but it was Rogic’s miss in sudden-death that gave Rangers victory.
Rangers will now face Alan Stubbs’ team in the showpiece final on Saturday 21st May at Hampden Park.
Rangers | Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan (Zelalem 87’), Wallace, Ball, Miller (Clark 91’), Halliday, McKay, Shiels (Law 65’), Holt, Wilson
Rangers subs not used | Bell, Burt
Celtic| Gordon, Bitton, Brown, Griffiths, Mackay-Steven (McGregor 71’), Boyata (Sviatchenko 25’), Mulgrew, Lustig, Johansen (Rogic 84’), Roberts, Tierney
Celtic subs not used | Bailly, Kazim-Richards, Armstrong, Commons
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