Joe Worrall strikes to earn Rangers a replay

Joe Worrall could scarcely have picked a better time to score his first goal for Rangers.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 8:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 9:50 pm
Rangers Joe Worrall celebrates scoring his side's goal. Photo credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire.

The defender popped up with the equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 Scottish Cup draw with Aberdeen – and he certainly knew just how important a strike it was.

Speaking afterwards though Worrall attempted to play down his role in the goal.

“I actually expected Connor Goldson to get his head to the corner but I just stuck a leg out anyway,” he said.

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“It was important we stayed in the Scottish Cup although the League’s not over yet.”

The defender was full of praise for the opposition – and in particular his direct opponent Sam Cosgrove, who ironically will be suspended for the Ibrox replay.

“Aberdeen are a good, big, physical side – but we won here four weeks ago,” Worrall said.

“Sam Cosgrove is quite a handful.”

Cosgrove fired the hosts in front from the spot in the tenth minute after Gary Mackay-Steven had been upended by Connor Goldson.

The Ibrox men made no changes at half time – but Steven Gerrad had clearly impressed on his team the definite need for improvement – for within four minutes of the restart the scores were level when from a Kent corner to the far post Worrall was unmarked to volley into the net.

It certainly provided an answer to many amongst the Light Blue legions who were critical of Worrall’s error against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park back in January.

“Kilmarnock was just one of those things – people make mistakes,” he said.

“I need to score more goals, I need to improve.”

Boss Steven Gerrard was full of praise for the on-loan Nottingham Forest defender.

“I thought Joe was outstanding – he will be a captain one day at whatever club he ends up at,” said the Rangers manager.

“He stepped up to the mark today and was outstanding in the second-half.”

The Ibrox Boss reckoned a 1-1 draw was a good reflection of the play.

“There were good battles all over the pitch,” he said.

“A draw was a fair result – Aberdeen edged the first-half, although there was only the penalty separating us, and we had the better of the second but either side could have won.

“Allan McGregor had a good save near the end – but then Scott McKenna had a great block from Alfredo.

“I asked the players at half-time to be braver on the ball. We were more creative in the second-half.

“Had we still been trailing as the second-half wore on I would have looked to Jermain Defoe and Kyle Lafferty – but we scored at a good time.”

With Aberdeen having already defeated Gerrard’s Rangers twice in Glasgow – once at Ibrox in December and once at Hampden in the League Cup Semi-Final back in October, it hardly needs underlining that the Ibrox replay on Tuesday 12th March will be no foregone conclusion. The manager however relishes the prospect of righting those wrongs.

He said: “The replay will give us the chance to make amends for previous games.”