Livingston’s Hampden dreams were dashed following a 4-0 defeat to Rangers to Ibrox. Goals from Jose Cifuentes, Ridvan Yilmaz, a Luiyi De Lucas own goal and Ryan Jack sank the Lions at the quarter final stage of the Viaplay Cup.
Lion’s manager David Martindale made three changes from the defeat to Celtic, with Bruce Anderson, Mo Sangare and Scott Pittman dropping out, being replaced by Stephen Kelly, Daniel MacKay and Kurtis Guthrie.
As perhaps expected, it was the home side who had the majority of the early play, with an early corner coming in from the right-hand side finding Benjamin Davies, however his flick was over the bar.
Shamal George was forced into a great save just five minutes later, with James Tavernier latching onto a loose ball in the middle of the box, his shot tipped over the bar from close range.
It would only take ten minutes for the deadlock to be broken, and it would go the way of the hosts. Jamie Brandon appeared to be pushed off the ball by Jose Cifuentes, however referee Willie Collum saw nothing wrong with the challenge. This allowed the Rangers striker the space to cooly pick his spot, curling the box into the far corner past George for 1-0.
It could have been two just minutes later, with Sam Lammers getting to the by-line on the right-hand side of the box, however his cross was headed away for a corner from Brandon.
Rangers appeared to take their foot off the gas with any moves forward feeling laboured and lack lustre, although a beautiful clipped ball over the top of the defence by Cifuentes found Sima, with his attempt saved well by George in the Livi goal.
The Lion’s best chance of the half came seven minutes before the break, with James Penrice racing forward from left back, his pass inside finding Stephen Kelly, however his curled shot from outside the box fell wide of the mark.
The second half started with the Lions looking a lot more positive on the ball, getting forward and causing Rangers problem, however they were unable to turn the opportunities into tangible chances. With Livi looking forward, it did allow Rangers a chance just before the hour mark, with a ball played to Cyriel Dessers on the edge of the box allowing him to play left to Sima. His initial effort was saved at the front post by George, and his cross from the follow up failed to find a blue jersey on the goal line.
Minutes later and Livi should have gotten the equaliser. A corner from the left hand side delivered high to the back post by Sean Kelly was met by De Lucas, whose header crept agonisingly past the post.
The second goal of the evening would fall again to the home side. Ridvan Yilmaz received the ball from inside his own half and his driving run went unchallenged, allowing him to reach the edge of the Livi box, slotting the ball low to the right of George in goal to double Rangers advantage.
With 12 minutes left, David Martindale took a final roll of the dice by making three changes, with Bruce Anderson, Mo Sangare and Danny Lloyd coming on. However it wasn’t to be as six minutes from time De Lucas would find his own net following nice play down the left hand side from Sima.
It was no more than the hosts deserved as Livingston pushed forward to try and get something out the game, however their advances were stifled easily by the Glasgow giants.
Rangers would put the final nail in the coffin in extra time, with a dubious decision to award a throw in to the team in blue allowed them to take quickly. Tavernier used this advantage on the right wing to play the ball low to the edge of the box, where Ryan Jack was waiting to slide the ball home, and secure Rangers semi final berth.
Match Report: David Hastie
Butland, Tavernier ©️, Goldson, Davies (Souttar 88), Yilmaz (Barisic 73), Cifuentes, Lundstram (Sterling 87), Jack, Lammers, Roofe (Dessers 45), Sima ▊ (Wright 88)
Subs not used:
George, Obileye, St.Kelly (Pittman 70), MacKay (Sangare 77), Brandon ▊, Holt ©️, Nouble, de Lucas, Sn.Kelly (Shinnie 70), Guthrie (Anderson 77), Penrice (Lloyd 77)
Subs not used:
|Referee: Willie Collum | HT: 0-1 | Att:|