Rangers come back from goal down to beat Morton amid cup-tie VAR drama

Michael Beale made eight changes from the midweek draw in Geneva.

Rangers come back from goal down to beat Greenock Morton amid League Cup VAR drama at Ibrox SNS Group

Rangers came back from a goal-down to beat Championship side Greenock Morton and book their place in the next round of the League Cup.

After a goalless first-half the game sprung to life after the break amid VAR drama as the referee was called over to the monitor twice in the space of ten minutes and awarded a penalty each to both sides.

Morton captain Grant Gillespie scored his before Cyriel Dessers equalised up the other end seven minutes later.

Danilo then put Rangers ahead just after coming off the bench to save Rangers’ blushes at Ibrox on Saturday.

Michael Beale rang the changes for his starting line-up with eight changes from the draw in Geneva midweek that secured a Champions League playoff spot.

The manager clearly had one eye on PSV with the likes of Rabbi Matondo, Johnly Yfeko and John Lundstram brought in and captain James Tavernier handed a rare day off as he was replaced by debutant Dujon Sterling.

Connor Goldson was handed the captain’s armband and he partnered Leon Balogun at the back.

But the players brought in failed to set the heather on fire and stake their claim for a place in the team as Morton held them off and reached the break at 0-0.

Matondo was one player who who looked lively and he had an early chance to break the deadlock as did Lundstram but veteran keeper Jamie MacDonald kept them at bay.

MacDonald was called into action again to save from a Cyriel Dessers effort before the visitors had their first opportunity from a free-kick that was comfortably saved by a diving Jack Butland.

Dessers and Matondo came close again but it was underwhelming first 45 minutes for the Premiership club.

Beale resisted the temptation to make changes at the break as the same eleven came out again and it was the Championship that had the first attempt after the restart when Butland saved a looping effort from Robbie Muirhead just over a minute into the half.

Morton then had a penalty claim when former Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot took a tumble in the box after a clash with Dessers.

The referee was called over to the VAR monitor to make a decision and pointed to the spot before Grant Gillespie slotted home to give the away side a shock lead.

Rangers got back on the front foot straight away as they chased an equaliser and Balogun hit the post with the volley.

But Rangers were then handed a spot-kick of their own after another VAR check for a tug on Balogun’s jersey from Broadfoot.

Dessers stepped up to take the penalty after a lengthy delay and slotted it home to make it 1-1.

Beale then sent for reinforcements as Danilo, Yanis Hagi and Abdallah Sima were brought on in a triple substitution in the place of Sam Lammers, Sterling and Balogun with just over half an hour remaining in Glasgow.

Rangers were ahead soon after when Danilo put the ball past MacDonald with his first bit of action in the game.

Hagi came close to making it 3-1 but his effort was well saved by MacDonald who was rolling back the years amid a busy afternoon for the former Kilmarnock stopper and Sima then hit the bar as Rangers began to turn the screw.

Man of the match MacDonald made yet another brilliant save from Sima as the game reached its conclusion and Morton came close to forcing extra-time with a late chance but Rangers done enough to see the game out and book their place in the next round.

Morton had another great chance to grab an equaliser but Yfeko got back just in time to prevent a goal that would have made extra-time a certainty in the sixth minute of injury time.

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