Rangers hit back against Aberdeen to win Youth Cup

Two goals in ten second-half minutes ensured Rangers came from behind against Aberdeen to lift their second Scottish Youth Cup in three years.

A superbly taken penalty by Findlay Curtis brought the Ibrox side level after defender Timothy Akindileni had put Aberdeen ahead before the match was decided by Josh Gentles’ strike, cruelly deflected past his own keeper Rodrigo Vitols by Akindileni.

It took a while, but when this game exploded into life with 25 minutes remaining it was worth the wait.

Aberdeen, much improved after a lacklustre first half, dominated the opening spell of the second and were rewarded with the opening goal, when Akindileni nudged the ball in after Rangers failed to deal with a couple of Alfie Stewart corners, the first of which seemed to go in before goalkeeper Mason Munn scrambled it clear.

The Ibrox side couldn’t learn their lesson and when they failed to deal with another set-piece, Akindileni was on hand to deflect the ball in with his knee.

The lead only last three minutes. Fine play from Archie Stevens ended up with the Rangers winger crossing dangerously and when the ball came off Lewis Carrol’s elbow, referee Euan Birch pointed straight to the spot.

After a lengthy delay, Curtis blasted the ball low to keeper Vitols’ right.

Rangers took full advantage of the shift in momentum and, when Josh Gentles shot from the edge of the area took a flick off Akindileni’s thigh, Vitols behind him was completely unsighted.

Rangers nearly grabbed a third but captain Leyton Grant headed against a post.

Minutes before the end, Alfie Bavidge thought he had taken the game to a penalty shoot-out but for a wonderful save from Mason Munn, who had earlier denied Bavidge the opening goal with another superb stop.

In their fourth consecutive final, Rangers lifted the cup for the ninth time, leaving the Dons frustrated and still seeking their first Youth Cup since 2001.