LOUIS MOULT broke Rangers hearts by scoring an excellent brace in today’s Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden.
The Steelmen scored two second half goals as they secured a place in the November 26th showpiece against Celtic after overcoming the Ibrox side.
However, the excellent half volley from Moult was not the only topic of discussion for fans as Bowman’s elbow on Cardoso saw both managers banished to the stands.
The Rangers support would have been encouraged by their strong start in the first half as both teams attempted to impose their physicality on the other.
The first real sign of what was to come from the physical side of Stephen Robinson’s team came when Ryan Bowman was booked for a loose arm, which caught Fabio Cardoso in the face after just six minutes earning a yellow card.
The game became end to end as both teams threatened with Moult and Alfedo Morelos had efforts saved before the twenty minute mark. Another yellow card was shown to Motherwell as Peter Hartley was penalised for a late foul on Morelos.
Pressure began to mount from Rangers as they pushed for an opener with Candeias and Windass both causing the Motherwell defence trouble. Ryan Jack was forced to make a crucial block off the line from Chris Cadden. Whilst at the other end, Motherwell saw a diving Declan John headed fly across the face of the goal. Yet the game found itself at 0-0 going in at the break.
Rangers came out of the traps as the second half began and really went for Motherwell in an attempt to break the deadlock. Dunne blocked Morelos’ strike before Windass squandered a glorious chance to take the lead.
Rangers would rue their catalogue of missed opportunities as, almost against the run of play, Louis Moult benefitted from penalty box pingball as the ball hit the bar before being smashed high into the net by Moult after 52 minutes.
Motherwell went close straight after as Bruno Alves put goalkeeper Jack Alnwick under enormous pressure with a poor pass back, which Bowman nearly got on the end of.
Tensions were high and Morelos was finally booked for a culmination of challenges after a tackle on Allan Campbell. The game would soon blowup as Bowman again rose with Cardoso and the arm caught Cardoso, breaking his nose and leaving him covered in blood.
The challenge saw the Rangers bench erupt and Pedro Caixinha went to confront the fourth official and Stephen Robinson. Resulting in both managers being sent to the stands.
Motherwell made it two after 72 minutes as Louis Moult turned Bruno Alves and hit a perfect half-volley over the helpless Alnwick. The goal sparked wild scenes from the Motherwell fans and players.
The final 15 minutes saw Motherwell see out the game, whilst resisting the attempts from Rangers to score. However, there was a flash point on 87 minutes when Bruno Alves rose with Louis Moult, leaving both on the ground and the Portuguese veteran appeared to kick out at the Motherwell striker, who appeared to have one back. A scuffle broke out and the Motherwell striker and Herrera were booked for the altercation, with Alves amazingly walking away without a card.
Full time blew and the Rangers fans left in Hampden looked enormously discontented with their side as the Motherwell fans partied.
The Rangers players made their way off with some attempting to get to referee, Steven McLean, who had to be escorted down the tunnel by G4S stewards as Rangers players attempted to confronted him. Pressure on Pedro Caixinha will be at an all-time high.