Returning Rangers striker Kemar Roofe netted the winner v Aberdeen to book a Hampden League Cup Final date with Old Firm rivals Celtic – before going off injured in the closing moments of the game.
The potent Gers forward cannot catch a break when it comes to injury and has spent much of this season on the treatment table as he struggles to regain his fitness.
Heading into the Hampden showpiece, all the talk was about Alfredo Morelos and Antonio Colak after controversial comments from Aberdeen captain Anthony Stewart.
Stewart had claimed that he believed Croatian striker Colak – who missed the game through injury – was a better player than Colombian firebrand Morelos.
But after the Dons skipper was sent packing in injury time at the end of 90 minutes for a reckless lunge on Fashion Sakala, it was Kemar Roofe who popped up in injury time to make the difference in a pulsating encounter at Hampden.
Two former Aberdeen players were also central to the Rangers victory, with Ryan Jack cancelling out Bojan Miovski’s first-half opener and Scott Wright creating Kemar Roofe’s eventual winner.
Kemar Roofe nets Rangers winner v Aberdeen
Rangers fell behind in the match after falling asleep defensively with just five minutes to play in the first period.
Macedonian striker Bojan Miovski finished with aplomb to have the travelling Dons support in dreamland after Matty Kennedy raced onto a loose ball from deep with the Rangers defence expecting an offside call.
The goal came after Aberdeen star Miovski had previously, and correctly, had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half.
Rangers rallied in the second period and after 15 minutes were level through ex-Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack, who played a neat one-two with Alfredo Morelos before cooly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Taking off to celebrate wildly, Rangers were good for the equaliser and it was game on from this point.
The match would take a turn in injury time at the end of the second period when a reckless lunge from Anthony Stewart brutally wiped out Fashion Sakala as Rangers attacked down the left.
High, powerful and out-of-control, whilst Aberdeen will be disappointed there can be no complaints that their captain was shown red here.
Rangers would then come out firing in the second period with Scott Wright showing purpose and ability to turn the Aberdeen defence, drive down the left and dribble into the box before squaring perfectly to Kemar Roofe.
The Ibrox poacher would finish neatly but after the game Michael Beale revealed the club are nervously awaiting the result of a shoulder injury, claiming both the player and club can’t catch a break with injuries this season [Viaplay].
There was also come VAR controversy in the match, with the system initially binned at the beginning of extra time due to a communication issue before coming back into play later in the match.
Michael Beale praises Rangers mentality monsters
Rangers boss Michael Beale went on to praise his Ibrox mentality monsters after booking their League Cup Final place with the win over Aberdeen.
The Gers will now play Old Firm rivals Celtic in the showpiece match at Hampden on the 26th of February and Beale praised his side come the final whistle for showing character to come from behind and win the match.
‘“ll in all, it’s a group that’s had some tough moments this season,” said Michael Beale.
“Now they’ve got to a final and I’ve told them to stop being anxious.
”The last few weeks when there’s been moments where we’ve been behind, we’ve shown unbelievable mentality and unbelievable strength in terms of out style of play and sticking to it. We’ve managed to turn results around.
“It would have been unjust if he hadn’t gone through today, but credit to Aberdeen. I thought they were terrific in the game.”
Next up for Rangers is a trip to play Kilmarnock on Wednesday evening with the club hoping to keep chipping away at Celtic’s nine point Scottish Premiership lead.
Meanwhile, moonhowling Celtic moans appear to have been heard amid VAR controversy in their Hampden semi-final.