Rangers go top of the SWPL after derby victory over Celtic!
Rangers steal the top spot from their rivals as Hardy secures victory for the Gers in a dramatic Glasgow Derby.
As the game kicked off, Celtic looked to build up slowly from the back while Rangers play was to hit on the counter. Neither team showed much in the opening minutes as it was looking to be a tactical stalemate.
As it approached the half hour mark, the first big chance of the game presented itself when Celtic were dispossessed by Kirsty Howat. Howat played the ball through to Rio Hardy, who was one-on-one with the Celtic goalkeeper. Kelsey Daugherty made a fantastic save to deny Hardy.
Celtic would also get their first good chance as Murphy Agnew stole the ball from the Rangers defence. Agnew found herself facing the goal at a tight angle, but she would attempt the shot nonetheless. The ball bounced across the face of goal and went wide.
Half-time quickly approached and both teams started to create more. Howat threatened Celtic on a few occassions while Gallacher did the same for the hosts. Despite the chances, it remained goalless as the referee brought the half to a close.
Both teams started quickly in the second half, and it took under ten minutes for the deadlock to be broken. A corner was sent into the box and Caitlin Hayes looped her header into the back of the net.
Rangers got themselves back in the game a few minutes later as 18-year-old MacLean levelled for the visitors. Howat played the ball to MacLean, who showed an impressive amount of composure to put it past Daugherty.
As the clock ticked on, Rangers were desperate for another goal. Lizzie Arnot took the ball down the left side of the pitch and sent a beautiful cross into the box. None of the Celtic defenders could block it and Hardy sent a bullet header into the back of the net to put them in the lead.
Celtic pushed for a equaliser in the final minutes, but Rangers were also pressing for a goal at the other end. There were big chances and huge saves, but there were no more goals in it.
The second half was brought to a close and Celtic’s unbeaten, 100% SWPL run was brought to an end by their biggest rivals. With this win, Rangers don’t only have bragging rights, but they also go top of the table by a single point.
Celtic fans will certainly be questioning why Partido and Loferski, two of their top performers in recent weeks, were on the bench this time around. Questions will also be asked of the decision to take Colette Cavanagh off, who was having a brilliant game.
Next up, Celtic are away to Dundee United, while Rangers host Spartans.