Rangers forced to Scottish Cup replay by Aberdeen


London (AFP)

Steven Gerrard's hopes of landing a trophy in his first season as Rangers boss remain alive as his side battled back to salvage a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen on Sunday to set up a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

Rangers looked to be crashing out after Sam Cosgrove fired the Dons ahead with an early penalty, but they forced a second chance at Ibrox on March 12 thanks to Joe Worrall's first goal for the club.

Gerrard's men have now won just one of five meetings against Aberdeen this season and Derek McInnes's men may well rue a number of missed chances to dump Rangers out of a second cup competition this season.

With Storm Freya causing blustery conditions, the game descended into a messy scrap and that suited Aberdeen down to the ground.

The hosts' desire shone through just nine minutes in as Max Lowe pounced on a moment of hesitancy from Daniel Candeias to take possession and drive forward.

The on-loan Derby defender slipped the ball through for Gary Mackay-Steven but before the winger could make a move Connor Goldson wiped out his standing leg, leaving referee Kevin Clancy with only one choice as he pointed to the spot.

Allan McGregor got a hand to Cosgrove's penalty but could not keep it out.

Alfredo Morelos had been sent off in each of his three previous meetings with Aberdeen this season and the Colombian's antics were soon drawn to the official's attention as he threw himself theatrically to the ground after brushing up against Andrew Considine to earn a booking.

The ball was spending more time in the air than on the deck but Aberdeen were working harder to make sure the breaks went their way and Scott McKenna hit the crossbar with a good chance to double his side's lead.

Gerrard got an immediate reaction from his half-time pep talk as his side levelled within four minutes of the restart.

Ryan Kent swung over a deep corner and Worrall arrived unchecked to fire low into the net.

However, it was Aberdeen who came closest to a winner as Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack were both required to clear off their own line for the visitors and McGregor saved from Considine when the centre-back should have found the net.

Holders Celtic are the only side to have so far booked their place in the last four as caretaker Hoops boss Neil Lennon secured a 2-0 win at his old side Hibernian on Saturday to remain on course for third consecutive clean sweep of domestic trophies.