Report: Gers 3 Utd 3
Sun 14.3.2010 / 12:05PM
Rangers and Dundee United will have to do it all again in a quarter-final replay after a 3-3 draw at Ibrox. Dundee United took a shock lead, but two penalties turned it round for Rangers. Rangers then seemingly put it beyond United when Novo gave them a 3-1 lead, but United came back from two behind to force the replay.
Rangers made one change from the team who faced Kilmarnock on Tuesday. Nacho Novo came in for DeMarcus Beasley. Danny Wilson retained his place due to Madjid Bougherra losing his fitness battle for this one. United made three changes from their last game, one of them forced on them due to Andy Webster not being able to face parent club Rangers. The other changes were Dillon in for Dixon, and Daly in for Goodwillie who had flu like symptons.
Dundee United were looking to avoid another hammering after already being beaten 3-0 and 7-1 by Rangers this season, and things didn't start to well for them after Casalinuovo had to come off injured in the first couple of minutes. He was replaced by Shala.
They weren't to know at the time, but this change was to work out a blessing in disguise for them. Shala gave Dundee United a shock lead after twenty-three minutes. It came about after a bad mistake in defence by Steven Whittaker. The Rangers full-back tried to pass in field to Danny Wilson, but it was a slack pass and it was intercepted by Jon Daly who put Shala through on goal. The substitute cooly put the ball underneath Allan McGregor and into the net.
United's lead only lasted ten minutes. Kris Boyd converted from the penalty spot after United goalkeeper Dusan Pernis brought Kenny Miller down. Referee Dougie McDonald didn't see it as a clear goalscoring opportunity and therefore only showed the goalie a yellow card. There is a lot of debate over this one, but I think the ref made the correct decision, Pernis caught Miller with his knee, even though he did get a bit of the ball, it was a penalty.
A further ten minutes later, and Rangers had the lead, thanks to ANOTHER penalty. This time Kris Boyd was fouled in the box by Sean Dillon. My initial reaction was it was a clear penalty, but looking at the slow motion replays I can admit it was perhaps a little soft. Kris Boyd wasn't complaining though and duly converted his second penalty of the day.
Rangers got out of the traps quickly in the second half and extended their lead to 3-1 thanks to Nacho Novo. United gave the ball away cheaply and Rangers broke forward. Davis brought it forward and fed Nacho Novo with a great pass, Novo made no mistake in despatching the ball past Pernis.
It should have been game up at this point but United stuck with it, and pulled one back after Morgaro Gomis' shot struck Whittaker's head and flew past McGregor into the goal. Whittaker was not having a good day. United got their equaliser ten minutes from time from a corner. Conway swung in a corner, Shala headed it onto the crossbar and the rebound fell to Kovacevic who headed in despite Novo's best efforts.
So Rangers face yet another replay. Three rounds played so far and replays required for every single round. If Rangers go on to win this Cup, it will have been through very hard work indeed. The draw for the semi-final is on Monday, and joining Rangers and United in the hat are Hibernian or Ross County, Celtic and Raith Rovers.
Assuming we make it through, a tie against Raith Rovers would be nice. In saying that, maybe it would be good to get rid of Celtic in the semis? The replay against United will be played a week on Wednesday.
Rangers McGregor, Whittaker, Weir, Wilson, Papac, Davis, Thomson (Edu 74), McCulloch, Novo (Beasley 85), Miller, Boyd (Lafferty 70).
SUBS NOT USED: Alexander, Little.
GOALS: Boyd (33 pen, 43 pen), Novo 48.
Dundee United Pernis, Kovacevic, Dods, Kenneth, Dillon, Swanson (Robertson 53), Gomis (Sandaza 76), Buaben, Conway, Casalinuovo (Shala 3), Daly.
SUBS: Banks, Watson.
BOOKINGS: Pernis, Dillon, Dods.
GOALS: Shala (23), Whittaker (63 og), Kovacevic (80).
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