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CELTIC v RANGERS IN CUP FINAL SHOWPIECE

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IT will be a Celtic v Rangers showpiece showdown in the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden on Sunday February 26.

Michael Beale’s side overcame 10-man Aberdeen in extra-time to set up the third derby of the season.

Ange Postecoglou’s trophy holders had already booked their place with a 2-0 triumph over Kilmarnock last night.

The Pittodrie side had taken the lead through Bojan Miovski four minutes from the interval, but an unfortunate 61st-minute own goal from on-loan Celt Liam Scales threw Beale’s side a lifeline.

NO GOAL…Bojan Miovski thumps a shot high past Allan McGregor, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

GOAL…Bojan Miovski beats the Rangers keeper again and this time his effort stands as he puts the Dons ahead.

And it was taken four minutes into extra-time when Scott Wright broke on the left before setting up Kemar Roofe who slid the ball home from six yards.

Jim Goodwin’s outfit were reduced to 10 men two minutes into stoppage-time when skipper Anthony Stewart was shown a straight red after a sliding challenge on Fashion Sakala.

The opening goal in the 41st minute was all down the quick thinking of Matty Kennedy and finishing skills of Miovski.

The striker was clearly offside as a ball was fired through into space between Borna Barisic and Ben Davies. The North Macedonian international realised he was in an illegal position and stopped running, but team-mate Kennedy saw his opportunity to race onto the ball.

THE EQUALISER…Ryan Jack claims the Ibrox side’s leveller that took a huge deflection off Liam Scales.

The Ibrox double-act were caught on their heels and the Pittodrie star dragged the ball wide before switching it inside for Miovski who lofted it away from Allan McGregor.

But that was wiped out just after the hour mark when the unlucky Scales deflected a low drive from Ryan Jack past his own keeper Kelle Roos.

Beale’s side had escaped in the 16th minute when Miovski sped onto a through ball, turned inside onto his left foot and then thundered a blistering angled drive high past McGregor.

SEEING RED…Dons skipper Anthony Stewart is banished by referee Nick Walsh after a wayward challenge had floored Fashion Sakala.

THE WINNER…Kemar Roofe diverts No.2 beyond helpless Dons keeper Kelle Roos to book a Cup Final spot aagainst Celtic next month.

However, Nick Walsh’s assistant flagged for offside and VAR looked at the incident. The forward was deemed to be just ahead of Davies and the screen image highlighted the infringement.

The game became towsy in the latter stages as the Pittodrie side tried valiantly to force penalty-kicks to determine who meets the holders next month.

The Pittodrie side’s last chance came and went in the fading moments when Scales had a shot blocked by McGregor.

Now Ange Postecoglou’s men, who have won 4-0 and drawn 2-2 in the previous derbies this season, will lock horns with their city rivals again next month.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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