Scottish Championship
RangersRangers2FalkirkFalkirk2

Rangers 2-2 Falkirk

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Ibrox Stadium
Nicky Law celebrates after scoring for Rangers against Falkirk
Nicky Law (left) struck late to deny Falkirk victory

Rangers were knocked off second place in the Scottish Championship, despite fighting back to draw with Falkirk.

The visitors, fresh from reaching the Scottish Cup final, looked likely to continue their winning run after establishing a two-goal lead.

John Baird scored the opener then set up the second for Tom Taiwo as Rangers' defence collapsed under pressure.

But the home side pegged back the Bairns through Haris Vuckic's header and Nicky Law's stoppage-time strike.

Stuart McCall's side slip one point below Hibs ahead of next week's final round of league fixtures.

The team finishing third will face Queen of the South over two legs to decide who meets the division's runners-up in the Premiership play-off semi-final double-header.

The winner will then meet the team finishing second-bottom in the Premiership, again over two legs, with a place in the top flight the prize.

Peter Grant and Ryan Hardie
Ryan Hardie (right) was prominent in the first half

Rangers threatened first through Ryan Hardie, who drilled in a shot that Falkirk goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald had to tip over.

Hardie then fed Tom Walsh for an effort that was on target but blocked.

Relying on the midfield nous of Mark Kerr and Taiwo, and the hard running of Baird up front, the visitors played their way back into the game.

Luke Leahy's cross found Baird on the penalty spot and the striker's first-time shot forced keeper Cammy Bell to throw himself up to block, then fell awkwardly and require treatment for a few minutes.

Bell might still have been dazed when he rushed out from goal to meet Baird, only for the striker to carry the ball round him. The angle was too tight for a shot on goal, and the Rangers defence eventually dealt with the situation.

A Lee Wallace cross forced Leahy to hack the ball clear from near his goal-line early in the second half, then Walsh's effort from the corner of the penalty area flew just wide.

The home side were soon more concerned with their fragile defending, which Falkirk took full advantage of. The visitors broke the deadlock with a straightforward corner kick that Rangers failed to deal with, leaving Baird free in the six-yard box to finish decisively.

Tom Taiwo scores for Falkirk against Rangers
Taiwo doubled Falkirk's lead before it was cancelled out late in the match

Baird then turned provider, beating Lee McCulloch to the ball on the halfway line then racing upfield. He was composed enough to spot the supporting run of Taiwo and measured a pass for the midfielder to shoot calmly past the exposed Bell.

The same pair combined again after Baird left McCulloch stranded for a second time, but Taiwo's shot was pushed away by Bell.

Some Rangers fans started booing captain McCulloch when he had the ball, prompting others to applaud him in support, but the mood was not helped when he met a free-kick inside the Falkirk penalty area only to head the ball clear instead of towards goal.

Rangers kept pressing, with Walsh hitting the post and Darren McGregor's header towards the top corner pushed over by MacDonald.

The home side's effort was eventually rewarded though when Vuckic met Law's corner with a powerful header that left MacDonald grasping at thin air.

The goalkeeper looked to have secured all three points for Falkirk and their first win at Ibrox since 1994 with a flying save to tip McCulloch's header over.

But, from the resulting corner, Law steered a shot into the far corner to restore parity.

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Bell
  • 24McGregor
  • 6McCulloch
  • 26ZaliukasSubstituted forCrawfordat 45'minutes
  • 5Wallace
  • 48Walsh
  • 34Murdoch
  • 7LawBooked at 34mins
  • 10Vuckic
  • 52HardieSubstituted forClarkat 66'minutes
  • 18MillerSubstituted forShielsat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mohsni
  • 14Clark
  • 20Hutton
  • 21Crawford
  • 22Shiels
  • 25Robinson
  • 30Gallagher

Falkirk

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1MacDonald
  • 3Muirhead
  • 5McCracken
  • 14Grant
  • 19Leahy
  • 11Kerr
  • 6Vaulks
  • 7TaiwoBooked at 87mins
  • 8Alston
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forDickat 84'minutes
  • 35BairdSubstituted forBia Biat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Smith
  • 12Bowman
  • 15Dick
  • 17Maybury
  • 20Cooper
  • 28Bia Bi
  • 36Morgan
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
35,566

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home19
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home13
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 2, Falkirk 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Falkirk 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 2, Falkirk 2. Nicky Law (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dean Shiels (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  8. Booking

    Tom Taiwo (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Dean Shiels (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tom Taiwo (Falkirk).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Liam Dick replaces Craig Sibbald.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 1, Falkirk 2. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nicky Law with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by David McCracken.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Botti Bia Bi replaces John Baird.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Darren McGregor (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Mark Kerr.

  18. Post update

    Andy Murdoch (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Will Vaulks (Falkirk).

  20. Post update

    Tom Walsh (Rangers) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.