A midnight kick off. A friendly in a tournament which has some strange rules and means very little. The knowledge that the game won’t be the best with loads of subs. And yet, despite all of that, Rangers fans watched the 1-0 win against Mineiro in big numbers last night. Many were even taking it quite seriously with their criticism of the team.

With it being a friendly, I won’t do articles for ratings or Man of the Match as such. This will be a brief match report and then a rundown of some of the talking points.

In the first half, Mineiro started the brighter. They were getting in behind the Rangers defence quite frequently, and a lot of the defending was rather desperate. Dalcio, in particular, was struggling as a makeshift left-back.

Mineiro missed two great chances to score – one hitting the post from a good break, and the other seeing the striker get through 1 v 1 with Alnwick only to finish poorly. As the half wore on, Rangers got better in possession. The best chance fell to Kranjcar from a Morelos knockdown. Sadly, he just wasn’t quick enough to get a good contact. Shots from the likes of Atakayi and Murphy were blocked as the team started to find some attacking threat.

At half time, every outfield player was replaced. The team which played the second half was much more purposeful. Pressing high up the pitch from the first whistle, they were also going into tackles stronger and looking to play at a higher tempo. The link up play between Windass and Herrera was good, and that led to the winning goal. Candeias got himself free on the left hand side, played a low cross which Herrera laid back to Windass. The precise finish from the Englishman left the goalkeeper with no chance.

Windass had another couple of efforts, and some crosses were just behind the forwards as Rangers looked to extend the lead. Towards the end of the game, some loose defending gave Mineiro a couple of chances, but they were unable to make anything of them.

Overall, the match was played at a decent tempo for a friendly. Rangers were only just worthy of the win, and lucky to keep the clean sheet.

The focus of the fans wasn’t really on the result, but on performances of certain players. Below is a breakdown of some of that.


Both Goss and Murphy started the match and played the first 45 minutes. Goss looked like a player who will be comfortable in most matches. He sees a pass early, drops deep to get on the ball, and works hard defensively. There were a few good passes as he looked to get players in behind. Rangers have often been poor in possession this season, and have dropped more points from a leading position than any other side in the league. A player like Goss is one who can add composure and secure possession to further control matches and reverse that statistic.

Murphy looked like a player who has loads to offer, but was just a yard short of sharpness. His movement and ability on the ball will be well received by the fans. He was also working hard to press or track back at certain times. As his match fitness improves, he looks likely to become one of our most important players.


Rangers have taken a handful of under-20 players to Florida to further their experience and bolster the squad. Atakayi, Kelly, Barjonas, Bates and Aidan Wilson were all involved in the match. The fans have seen plenty of Bates, and a fair bit of Barjonas, so the focus was on the others.

Atakayi played the first 45 minutes, and looked to have some ability. His decision making was erratic, and he was very direct at all times. As he progresses, he should learn when to run at a full back or when to keep the ball. His movement off the ball was good, and he got on the end of a lovely Kranjcar pass to see a shot blocked. The first half wasn’t the best from Rangers in the final third, but Atakayi certainly had some nice moments.

Aidan Wilson also started the match, playing next to Danny Wilson at centre half. In the matches he played in last season, he impressed many fans. He continued that in this friendly, showing his comfort on the ball allied with his strength in defence. The back four was a little exposed at times, and the full backs were having a poor night, but Wilson managed to do pretty well overall.

Liam Kelly was given the last half hour in goals, replacing Alnwick. Rangers were pretty dominant at the time, and he didn’t have a lot to do. His distribution was very good, and he passes the ball well over distance. Didn’t have a save of note to make, so we’ll hopefully see more of him soon to better judge his potential.


Andy Halliday and Michael O’Halloran have returned from their loan spells and been put straight back into first team consideration. Both played the second half in this match.

Halliday was given the armband for the half, and looked like a player with a point to prove. He snapped into tackles, picked up a booking, and gave away a number of fouls. He was asked to play the deeper role in midfield, one which most fans don’t believe suits him. After the composure and seemingly effortless play of Goss, Halliday was a big contrast. His energy made the game a bit more competitive, and he had some nice moments on the ball which led to a couple of chances.

O’Halloran, for me, was frustrating. He started the half on the left, and looked to get on the ball constantly. However, he would take one or two touches too many every time, and either lost it or played a pass which should have been played much earlier. He swapped to the right hand side just before the goal, and was unlucky not to create a couple of chances from there. He certainly wanted to make an impact, but his head-down style didn’t pay any dividends on the night.


This is only a brief point, because it may be that I’ve looked too much into it. The team lined up in the same shape in both halves. We had 2 deeper midfielders as such, with one pushing on to become almost a second striker. The wide players were encouraged to get involved, and the full backs pushed forward. With all the speculation on signing targets, and the notion that Murty preferred a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, the fans will often discuss what they believe the team will look like in the coming weeks. This match may have confirmed that we’ll be looking to use that 4-2-3-1 shape in the main.

What were your thoughts on the game? Was it worth the late night? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!