Match Report: Rangers 2-0 Hearts (AET)

21 May 2022

After a tense 90 minutes, the Jambos ultimately lost out after goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright inside the opening six minutes of the additional thirty.

There were returns to the starting line up for John Souttar and Craig Halkett in the heart of defence as well as Nathaniel Atkinson at right wing back, while Liam Boyce was fit to start up front alongside Ellis Simms.

After a feisty start, Peter Haring was cautioned inside the opening three minutes for a late challenge on Amad Diallo.

The Jambos had a huge chance to open the scoring on ten minutes. Atkinson slipped a pass in behind for Boyce, who fired the ball across goal and Simms slid in but could only divert the ball onto the post.

Rangers then had a couple of tame efforts on goal, with Scott Arfield's shot being comfortably held by Craig Gordon, while Ryan Kent dragged a shot wide.

On the half hour, there was another good chance. Souttar burst forward out of defence, found Simms who teed up Barrie McKay but his shot was high and wide from the edge of the area.

Rangers could have been ahead at the break after missing two headers. First, Joe Aribo glanced an effort wide from a Calvin Bassey cross, before Diallo missed an even more glaring chance as he headed high over the bar from another Bassey cross.

Into the second half, and a ball over the top sent Kent scampering through on goal but Gordon was out quickly to produce a big save.

On 73 minutes, Gordon produced another fine stop as Bassey danced his way into the box and curled a right footed effort towards goal but the skipper pushed it away.

In the last ten minutes, Leon Balogun flashed a header just over from a James Tavernier corner. Then, in stoppage time, Aribo found space in the area and shot for goal but Gordon produced a stunning save with his left foot to divert it onto the post and wide.

From the resulting delivery, substitute Scott Wright headed the ball off the crossbar and away as we headed for extra time.

Unfortunately, Rangers came out of the blocks quickly in the opening period and took the lead through sub Jack. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area and Jack smashed the ball in off the bar.

Moments later, Hearts were caught on the break. Having been robbed upfield, the defence was out of position and Kent slid a pass through for Wright who shot low into the corner to double the lead.

Gordon was again called into action in the second period of extra time when Wright reversed a pass for Fashion Sakala but his low drive was well held.

In the last moments, Kent and Glen Kamara both drew excellent stops from Gordon on the counter attack as Rangers sought to add to their tally.

Hearts pushed for a goal back in the closing stages but were unable to get a reward for their efforts as Rangers held onto their lead to secure the trophy.

Rangers: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Bassey, Lundstram, Goldson, Diallo (Wright, 63'), Davis (Jack, 81'), Kent, Aribo, Balogun, Arfield (Kamara, 81'). Subs: McGregor, Itten, Ramsey, Sands, Roofe, Sakala, King, Lowry.

Hearts: Gordon, Kingsley, Souttar, Haring, Boyce (Halliday, 76'), Atkinson, Devlin (McEneff, 105'), Cochrane (Mackay-Steven, 100'), McKay (Ginnelly, 82'), Halkett, Simms. Subs: Stewart, Smith, Woodburn, Moore, Sibbick.

Referee: Willie Collum