Rangers 3 - 3 Dundee Utd

Scottish Cup - Quarter Final
Sunday, March 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM at Ibrox
Attendance: 24,096
Referee: Dougie McDonald
Rangers Dundee Utd

Kris Boyd (pen.) (34)
Kris Boyd (pen.) (43)
Nacho Novo (48)
Andis Shala (24)
Steven Whittaker (o.g.) (63)
Mihael Kovačević (80)

Team Managers
Walter Smith Peter Houston

Starting Eleven
Allan McGregor
Steven Whittaker
Sasa Papac
David Weir
Danny Wilson
Kevin Thomson
Steven Davis
Nacho Novo
Kris Boyd
Kenny Miller
Lee McCulloch
Dušan Perniš
Darren Dods
Garry Kenneth
Mihael Kovačević
Seán Dillon
Morgaro Gomis
Prince Buaben
Craig Conway
Danny Swanson
Jon Daly
Damián Casalinuovo

Neil Alexander
Maurice Edu
DaMarcus Beasley
Kyle Lafferty
Andy Little
Steve Banks
Keith Watson
David Robertson
Andis Shala
Fran Sandaza

Kyle Lafferty for Kris Boyd (70)
Maurice Edu for Kevin Thomson (74)
DaMarcus Beasley for Nacho Novo (85)
Andis Shala for Damián Casalinuovo (3)
David Robertson for Danny Swanson (53)
Fran Sandaza for Morgaro Gomis (76)

Lee McCulloch (90) Dušan Perniš (33)
Seán Dillon (44)
Darren Dods (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Dušan Perniš (GK) 13 apps -
Darren Dods 89 apps6 goals
Seán Dillon 108 apps2 goals
Garry Kenneth 117 apps6 goals
Mihael Kovačević 51 apps1 goal
Morgaro Gomis 128 apps6 goals
Prince Buaben 86 apps7 goals
Craig Conway 126 apps10 goals
Danny Swanson 76 apps5 goals
Jon Daly 68 apps18 goals
Damián Casalinuovo 28 apps7 goals
David Robertson (sub) 101 apps15 goals
Andis Shala (sub) 18 apps2 goals
Fran Sandaza (sub) 37 apps10 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Prince Buaben (21 years 330 days)
Oldest Player:Darren Dods (34 years 289 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 40 days
Domestic Players:4 (36.36 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Keith Watson (20 years 125 days)
Oldest Player:Steve Banks (38 years 43 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 109 days
Domestic Players:6 (37.50 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Mihael Kovačević scored his first goal for the Club.

United travelled to Govan without Andy Webster, as the terms of his loan agreement rendered him unable to play against his parent club, meaning Darren Dods came in alongside Garry Kenneth at centre half. Paul Dixon was also missing after suffering an ankle injury in the previous week’s match with Hearts, so Sean Dillon deputised at left back. Otherwise, Manager Peter Houston started with a familiar 4-4-2 line-up with Jon Daly and Damien Casalinuovo spearheading the attack.

However, the Manager was forced into an early change when the Argentine striker pulled up with what looked like a hamstring strain after just two minutes. Andis Shala replaced him, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. The German’s first opportunity came in the 18th minute when Prince Buaben won the ball in midfield and played him in on goal, but just as he was about to pull the trigger the defender slid in to make a brilliant last ditch tackle. Rangers then had a chance to take the lead when Dods gave the ball away to Kenny Miller inside his own half. Miller carried the ball to the edge of the box, but he pulled his shot wide of the post. However, it was United who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Daly intercepted Steven Whittaker’s pass across the defence to send Andis Shala in on goal, and the striker made no mistake as he slid the ball under Allan McGregor to put the Tangerines 1-0 up. The goal was United’s 50th of the season and moments later Shala almost returned the favour for Daly when he played his strike partner through, but the Irishman’s touch let him down and the chance was gone. United were looking comfortable but an error in midfield allowed Miller to be sent through one-on-one with Dusan Pernis. The former Celtic striker rounded the keeper and was brought down but Pernis clearly got a touch to the ball, only for referee Dougie McDonald to point the spot. Kris Boyd stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 1-1 after 34 minutes. And, as the interval approached, the home side were awarded another dubious penalty. Boyd went down after a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Dillon, and despite the defender’s protests, Rangers were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead. Kris Boyd dusted himself down and this time slotted the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner – wrong-footing the ‘keeper to give Rangers a 2-1 half-time advantage.

United’s cup hopes looked all but over in the first minute of the second half when Rangers scored a third goal. The Tangerines were on the attack but Danny Swanson tried to take on one player too many and lost possession. Rangers broke forward and the ball was played through to Nacho Novo on the inside right position, and the former Dundee man shot across Pernis to make it 3-1. The home side could have extended their lead when Steven Davis crossed for Boyd. He headed the ball goalwards, but Pernis saved comfortably. Walter Smith’s team appeared to be cruising to victory, but United gradually fought their way back into the match and with an hour on the clock showed that they weren’t ready to go out of the competition just yet. Craig Conway played the ball out to Dillon on the left and he swung a cross in with his left foot. The cross was met by Shala, but his header drifted just wide of the post. However, the away side did manage to reduce the deficit in the 63rd minute. Conway’s corner was headed clear but only as far as Morgaro Gomis some 25 yards from goal. He fired in a volley that seemed to be going well wide, but Steven Whittaker got in the way and headed the ball into his own net to give United a lifeline. The comeback was complete in the 79th minute when another Conway corner was met by Shala who headed the ball on to the crossbar, but Mihael Kovačević was on hand to head home the rebound for his first goal for the club - sending the travelling Arabs into raptures. In the closing stages of the game there was even a chance that United might have grabbed an astonishing winning goal but it wasn't to be and the Terrors had to settle for a replay which had looked so unlikely at one stage in the game.

Peter Houston praised the attitude of his players after watching his young team come back from 3-1 down to earn a replay. He said: “I never thought at any time that we would collapse like we did in the 7-1 game. We were hardly started when we had to make a substitution when Damian Casalinuovo pulled up and we replaced him with Andis Shala, but that actually worked for us.” Houstie added: “To lose three goals to Rangers at Ibrox usually means you’ll lose and when we were 3-1 down I decided that we were out the Cup and so we had nothing to lose by putting Robertson on and telling the players to push up at corners and free-kicks and it worked – Kovacevic never scores with head.”

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Programme cover / Team sheet