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Hosts Bounce Back with Abdallah Sima’s Spectacular Goal, Rangers Triumph 3-1 over Kilmarnock

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Abdallah Sima (far right) netted for the 15th time this season

Abdallah Sima scored a stunning volley as Rangers responded to their Old Firm defeat with Scottish Premiership victory over Kilmarnock.

Ross McCausland fired the hosts in front after Kyle Vassell was denied when clean through on the Rangers goal, and Sima’s inventive chest touch and volley added a quick second before the break.

Danny Armstrong converted a VAR-awarded penalty following John Souttar’s handball – the first Rangers have conceded in 75 league games – but Todd Cantwell restored the two-goal advantage.

Rangers, beaten by Celtic on Saturday, reduce the league leaders’ advantage to five points before they play St Mirren later. Kilmarnock, fourth, trail Hearts by five points.

The Vassell chance prompted Kilmarnock’s best spell of the game, though that was their best opening.

And it was against the run of play that Rangers took the lead. Cyriel Dessers, having gone close with a shot and a header, swept a superb pass from halfway in behind David Watson for McCausland to chase and finish.

Then came Sima’s moment. The winger received Connor Goldson’s pass on the 18-yard line, controlled, spun away from Joe Wright and lashed a shot past the helpless Will Dennis.

The half-time scoreline was harsh on Kilmarnock and they needed a response early in the second period.

They probed and when Rory McKenzie’s delivery struck Souttar’s arm, referee John Beaton reviewed at the monitor and pointed to the spot – the first Premiership penalty Rangers have conceded since January 2022. Armstrong scored confidently.

But the reprieve was short lived. Ridvan Yilmaz’s cross from the left perfectly met the near-post run of Cantwell and the midfielder applied the finish.

Rangers’ first signing of the January transfer window, Fabio Silva, came on for his debut in place of Dessers and James Tavernier, twice, and Cantwell tested Dennis in the final half-hour.

Player of the match – Abdallah Sima (Rangers)

Abdallah Sima celebrates after scoring for Rangers against Kilmarnock
Rangers’ second scorer was a persistent threat on the left and lit up the game with his goal

Sima shows Rangers what they’ll be missing – analysis

With his 15th goal of the season, Sima demonstrated what Rangers will be missing when he goes to the African Cup of Nations with Senegal.

That tournament runs from 13 January to 11 February, meaning Sima could be unavailable until Rangers’ match with St Johnstone on 17 February.

The performance and result allowed Rangers to get their weekend disappointment out of their system and go into the winter break with a morale-boosting three points.

After winning the first meeting of the sides on the opening day of the season, Kilmarnock once again showed their ability to restrict Rangers for long spells.

If the passing from the hosts was not precise, there was usually a Killie boot or head in the way.

Going forward, the visitors were adept at getting into the right areas – particularly with the Vassell chance – but what will frustrate manager Derek McInnes is losing the third goal so soon after getting back into the contest at 2-1.

A late Liam Polworth shot would have made for an interesting finale had it not gone just wide.

What’s next?

Both sides are next in action in the Scottish Cup on 20 January. Kilmarnock host Dundee (15:00 GMT) and Rangers visit Dumbarton (17:30).

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Butland
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Souttar
  • 3Yilmaz
  • 20DowellSubstituted forSterlingat 71′minutes
  • 4Lundstram
  • 13CantwellBooked at 15minsSubstituted forRaskinat 89′minutes
  • 45McCauslandSubstituted forMatondoat 84′minutes
  • 9DessersSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 71′minutes
  • 19SimaSubstituted forWrightat 84′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Fábio Silva
  • 14Lammers
  • 17Matondo
  • 21Sterling
  • 23Wright
  • 28McCrorie
  • 38King
  • 43Raskin
  • 44Devine

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Dennis
  • 4WrightBooked at 63mins
  • 5Mayo
  • 17Findlay
  • 3NdabaSubstituted forDeasat 86′minutes
  • 11ArmstrongSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 62′minutes
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 30mins
  • 22DonnellySubstituted forWatsonat 18′minutesBooked at 41mins
  • 31Polworth
  • 10KennedySubstituted forMurrayat 86′minutes
  • 9VassellSubstituted forWatkinsat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Deas
  • 12Watson
  • 14Sanders
  • 15Murray
  • 19Davies
  • 20O’Hara
  • 21Dallas
  • 23Watkins
  • 39Mackay-Steven

Referee:
John Beaton

Attendance:
49,250

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Rangers

  1. Squad number1Player nameButland

  2. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  3. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  4. Squad number5Player nameSouttar

  5. Squad number3Player nameYilmaz

  6. Squad number20Player nameDowell

  7. Squad number4Player nameLundstram

  8. Squad number13Player nameCantwell

  9. Squad number45Player nameMcCausland

  10. Squad number9Player nameDessers

  11. Squad number19Player nameSima

  1. Squad number7Player nameFábio Silva

  2. Squad number17Player nameMatondo

  3. Squad number21Player nameSterling

  4. Squad number23Player nameWright

  5. Squad number43Player nameRaskin

Kilmarnock

  1. Squad number1Player nameDennis

  2. Squad number4Player nameWright

  3. Squad number5Player nameMayo

  4. Squad number17Player nameFindlay

  5. Squad number3Player nameNdaba

  6. Squad number11Player nameArmstrong

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcKenzie

  8. Squad number22Player nameDonnelly

  9. Squad number31Player namePolworth

  10. Squad number10Player nameKennedy

  11. Squad number9Player nameVassell

  1. Squad number6Player nameDeas

  2. Squad number12Player nameWatson

  3. Squad number15Player nameMurray

  4. Squad number23Player nameWatkins

  5. Squad number39Player nameMackay-Steven

(The following story may or may not have been edited by NEUSCORP.COM and was generated automatically from a Syndicated Feed. NEUSCORP.COM also bears no responsibility or liability for the content.)

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