SuperCupNI: Rangers hand out heartbreak for brave Tyrone with shoot-out success
There was penalty shoot-out heartbreak for County Tyrone at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
They lost their STATSports SuperCupNI semi-final on penalties to Glasgow giants Rangers.
The game finished 0-0 in normal time, with Rangers winning the shoot-out 5-4.
Tonight’s final will see Rangers take on Charlton Athletic at the Ballymena Showgrounds after the Londoners defeated Pumas of Mexico 3-2 in the other semi-final.
Mackenzie Strachan believed he should have been awarded a penalty in the 10th minute, but Tyrone defender Callan Devlin was just too strong for the Gers forward.
Conor Allan had a chance to give Rangers the lead in the 12th minute after a fine passing move, but goalkeeper Ben Purvis blocked his effort.
A minute later, young Ger Tyler Pasnik tried his luck from 20 yards, with his effort inching just over the bar.
Rangers really should have scored in the 18th minute when Scott Cowie cut the ball back from the right-flank into the path of Strachan, but the striker blasted the ball over.
Strachan did force Purvis into a save in the 23rd minute, the keeper pushing away the striker’s powerful 25-yard effort.
Tyrone’s Cameron Crooks saw his dangerous free-kick cannon off the wall just after the break. He smashed the rebound back towards goal, only to be denied by a slight deflection. From the resulting corner, Lewis Francis turned the ball over the bar.
At the other end, Adedire Mebude had a chance to win it for the Gers in the last minute. He burst down the left-flank before cutting inside and testing Purvis, but the alert Tyrone keeper gathered at the second attempt.
In stoppage time, Purvis was replaced by penalty-saving specialist Ruaira McHugh.
However, McHugh was unable to stop Robbie Ure, Leyton Dunlop, Allen, Jack Harkness and Mebude, who all found the net for Rangers.
Callan Devlin, Crooks, Liam Corr and Shea O’Hare all scored for Tyrone, only for the unfortunate Michael Forbes to see his final spot kick saved by Jack McConnell.
At the Riada in Ballymoney, Charlton booked their place in the final with a 3-2 win over Pumas.
Marconi Picazo scored a brace for Pumas, but strikes from Daniel Kanu, Seydil Toure and Chibike Okechuckwu gave the Addicks victory in an exciting semi-final showdown.