Hibernian 1-0 Rangers - Play-Off Report
Rangers will play-off against Motherwell for the chance to return to the Scottish Premiership in three seasons after a second leg defeat against Hibernian but an overall aggregate win to set up this final.
We knew that as long as the first leg win at Ibrox wasn't bettered by Hibernian at Easter Road then it would be us facing Stuart McCall's former side, and despite the one-nil defeat on Saturday we set up this game winning two-one on aggregate.
The Hibernian indication was clear with a more attacking line up, whereas we were more cautious with Hibernian the dominate forced in the opening half, certainly of the first half, with chances coming.
A penalty appeal, with a handball by Shiels claimed, was turned away as he looked to clear against his own hand. They've 'been given' but there wasn't any intention and if this had been awarded it would have been very harsh, not that Hibernian would have worries about that.
Hibernian's grip on the game was there but the real clear cut chances that would have left Rangers concerned weren't shown too often but Bell did need to turn away a Craig effort with McCulloch ensuring that he cleared the danger away from Malonga who was lurking.
Miller was first to test Hibernian 'keeper Oxley, but he saved comfortable from the striker's effort with Miller heading wide from a Foster cross too but there wasn't too much intent to get that far forward from Rangers but Oxley did have to save well to keep out a Vuckic, turning this away.
With needs must Hibernian called on the cavalry with El Alagui and Dje Djedje coming on, added to Malonga and Cummings they had four strikers on the pitch but still there wasn't enough threat although Bell did have to tip a dangerous Allan cross over the bar.
Malonga had a good chance from around the penalty spot but he couldn't hit the target as he volley wide, when he did hit the target with another effort this was well saved by Bell.
Experienced Rangers defender Zaliukas pulled off a virtual goal saving block with Allan poised to send Cummings away on goal and when Hanlon could only hit the post in injury-time, from close range, that was just about that.
A curling Cummings' (90+4) effort finally did beat Bell deep into injury-time but as much as that won Hibernian the game one-nil but that wasn't enough with Rangers winning the tie two-one with a return to the Premiership insight!
McCall will now face his former club, having left Fir Park in November, over two legs with a place in the Scottish Premiership at stake....
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