Scottish Cup Final
Rangers 0-0 (2-0 AET) Heart of Midlothian
Saturday, 21 May, kick off 3.00pm
By Karen Malcolm
Rangers and Hearts met in the Scottish Cup Final for the first time in 24 years, with Rangers winning 2-0.
Outstanding goalkeeping from Craig Gordon in the dying minutes of normal time sent the Scottish Cup Final into extra time. However, two early goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright ensured the Scottish Cup would be heading to Ibrox for the first time since 2009.
Rangers: Ryan Jack (93), Scott Wright (97)
As It Happened
Both Rangers and Hearts beat their rivals in the semi-finals to book their place in the final. Rangers had scored 12 goals and conceded one in the four rounds leading to the final while Hearts had scored eleven and conceded three.
The sides both met seven days ago in the Scottish Premiership, with Rangers winning 3-1 at Tynecastle. Jon McLaughlin, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Amad Diallo were the only four that started that game who kept their place in the starting 11 for the final. Hearts made three changes to their starting eleven from the game a week ago with John Souttar, Nathaniel Atkinson and Craig Halkett coming in to replace Toby Sibbick, Michael Smith and Gary Mackay-Steven who all dropped to the bench.
In a packed Hampden Park, the first half of the 2021-22 Scottish Cup was fairly even with both sides creating a number of chances that weren’t converted thanks to solid defending and goalkeeping from both sides.
The biggest chance of the first half came in the 10th minute when Nathaniel Atkinson played a ball into the box which was met by Liam Boyce who played the ball across the six yard box – it was met by Ellis Simms at the back post but the striker’s effort was denied by the bottom of the left hand post.
26 minutes into the game, Ryan Kent saw his effort from the edge of the box go narrowly past the left hand post. Four minutes before the half, Amad Diallo header went well over the bar – it was to be goalless at the break.
Rangers came close to taking the lead of the game 12 minutes into the second half when a long ball into the box was met by Ryan Kent; however his effort was denied by Craig Gordon as the Hearts captain came out of his goal to deny the shot.
Hearts created two great chances within minutes of each other. The first came in the 64th minute when Nathaniel Atkinson cross into the box narrowly went over the head of Ellis Simms and the second came a minute later when good play between Nathaniel Atkinson and Liam Boyce resulted in Nathaniel Atkinson attempt being blocked in the six yard box by Steven Davis.
In the 74th minute, the Hearts captain was called into action again; Calvin Bassey made his way past a number of Hearts players and had a shot at goal from the edge of the box which was denied by a low save from Craig Gordon.
In the dying minutes of the game, Rangers had two opportunities to win the game in normal time. Joe Arbio's attempt from inside the box was denied by an outstanding save from Craig Gordon as the keepers saved the shot with his left leg to put the ball out past his left hand post. A James Tavernier free kick into the box two minutes into stoppage time was met by the head of Scott Wright, however the substitute was denied by the crossbar.
With the score line level at full time the game went into extra time and Rangers had the perfect start, taking the lead after three minutes. The ball found Ryan Jack on the edge of the box and the fantastic strike from the midfielder hit the roof of the net.
Four minutes later and Rangers doubled their lead thanks to Scott Wright. The substitute received the ball wide on the right after a Rangers counter-attack; he kept his composure to slot a fine finish into the left hand side of the net.
The two goals early in stoppage time from the Rangers substitutes meant that it was Rangers who were crowned the 2021-22 Scottish Cup Winners.
Rangers: McLaughlin (McGregor 118), Tavernier, Bassey, Lundstram, Goldson, Diallo (Wright 62), Davis (Jack 80), Kent, Aribo (Sakala 105), Balogun, Arfield (Kamara 80)
Substitutes: Itten, Ramsey, Sands, Roofe, King, Lowry
Hearts: Gordon, Kingsley, Souttar, Haring, Boyce (Halliday 75), Atkinson, Devlin (McEneff 105), Cochrane (Mackay-Steven 99), McKay (Ginnelly 81), Halkett, Simms
Substitutes: Stewart, Smith, Woodburn, Moore, Sibbick