Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers: Joe Worrall forces replay for Steven Gerrard's side
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/03/19 4:46pm
Rangers scraped a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen in their Scottish Cup quarter-final to keep alive Steven Gerrard's hopes of landing a trophy in his first season as boss.
Gers looked to be heading out of the competition after Sam Cosgrove fired the Dons ahead with an early penalty, but they forced a replay thanks to Joe Worrall's first goal for the club shortly after the restart (49).
The clash did not exactly go with the form book as Aberdeen shrugged off their recent struggles at home to give the visitors a thoroughly uncomfortable afternoon.
While Derek McInnes' men had managed just one win in their last seven at Pittodrie, Rangers travelled north with confidence after firing 14 goals in their last three games.
Yet Gerrard knew defeat would mean he would likely end his rookie year at Ibrox empty-handed and there will be some relief that his team will get a second go at reaching the last four.
With Storm Freya causing blustery conditions, the game descended into a scrap that suited Aberdeen.
The Dons' 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.
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 threw himself theatrically to the ground after brushing up against Andrew Considine to earn a booking.
Scott McKenna and Niall McGinn - introduced for Mackay-Steven after he limped off in the wake of the penalty - both sent efforts over McGregor's bar, while Rangers managed one chance but saw Ryan Kent blaze over.
Whatever Gerrard said during the break drew a reaction as his side levelled within four minutes of the restart.
Worrall was being marked by Cosgrove as Kent swung over a deep corner, but the Aberdeen scorer got tangled up with team-mate Lewis Ferguson, leaving the Rangers centre-back unchecked to slot home at the back post.
Rangers were lucky to survive a defensive mix-up of their own, however, as Considine got free to glance a header towards goal from McGinn's corner. Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack were both required to clear off their own line as the hosts threw bodies at the loose ball.
Cosgrove saw yellow after catching Borna Barisic with an arm, but Graeme Shinnie was lucky a booking was all he got after diving in on Arfield.
Aberdeen turned up the pressure as the game ticked into the final quarter of an hour. Considine's strike was stopped by McGregor before Barisic denied McKenna on the follow-up.
Gers had one late chance to snatch victory but Considine's brave block denied Morelos.