Caitlin Hayes’ last-minute equaliser denies Rangers a vital victory
Caitlin Hayes scored a 99th-minute equaliser to salvage a point for Fran Alonso’s side against Rangers in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, in the first SWPL game to be shown live on Sky Sports.
Leaders Glasgow City end the first round of fixtures eight points clear of second-placed Celtic and nine ahead of third-placed Rangers.
How Celtic and Rangers battled it out in the Old Firm clash
After Glasgow City’s 2-0 win at Hibernian on Saturday, the third Old Firm clash of the season between Celtic and Rangers was crucial for both teams’ title chances.
Celtic beat Rangers 3-0 last month but it was Malky Thomson’s side who dominated the opening stages of Monday’s game. Rangers made a confident start but were fortunate not to fall behind in the 14th minute when goalkeeper Jenna Fife’s clearance was charged down by Natasha Flint, only for the ball to rebound behind for a goal-kick.
Despite Celtic rarely threatening in the first half, they claimed a penalty when Lisa Martinez got the wrong side of Caitlin Hayes, and appeared to pull her opponent down. However, with no VAR available, referee Steven MacDonald waved away the appeals.
Rangers got control of the majority of the contest, with Kathryn Hill’s two efforts being saved by Pamela Tajonar before taking the lead in the 36th minute – Brogan Hay got lucky with defensive mix-up. Though Celtic improved in the second half, they were unable to create any clear-cut chances.
American forward Kit Loferski, whose signing was announced on the day of the game, was introduced in the 70th minute, but it wasn’t until the final seconds that the visitors earned what could be a valuable point.
The ball was cleared by the Rangers defence, but as Fife rushed out to collect it, it rebounded off Hayes, allowing the Celtic defender to tap into an empty goal to salvage a point.
Elsewhere in the SWPL
Glasgow City remains on top as they won 2-0 against Hibernian on Saturday, while Hearts beat Partick Thistle 1-0 in the other top-six fixture. In the bottom half, Motherwell won 4-1 against rivals Hamilton Academical, Spartans beat Dundee United 1-0 and Aberdeen overcame rock-bottom Glasgow 3-1.
Rangers Women will be hosting Hibernian on April 2, with a kick-off at 4.10pm. On the same day, Celtic will be playing Partick Thistle at home, and their match will start at 3pm.
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