Saturday 24 February 2018

Rangers ready for final push

Rangers boss Stuart McCall insists his tired troops will be ready to face Motherwell after surviving 180 minutes of gruelling action with Hibernian. The Glasgow outfit were out on their feet by the time Jason Cummings struck in the 94th minute to give Hibs a 1-0 second-leg promotion play-off semi-final win, with the 2-0 triumph secured at Ibrox on Wednesday enough to see Rangers through.

But McCall says his men will have time to recover before facing 'Well in another crucial Govan clash. "The good thing is the first game isn't until Thursday," he said. "The lads have just heard two words they've not heard for months - 'day off'."

Atletico claim Champions spot

Atletico Madrid secured a berth in the Champions League group stage for next season and Deportivo La Coruna narrowly escaped relegation when they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at champions Barcelona on the final day of La Liga.

Atletico made sure of third place thanks to a 0-0 draw at Granada, while Valencia twice had to come from behind to beat Almeria, who were relegated, 3-2 and clinch fourth and a spot in qualifying for Europe's elite club competition.

Sevilla, Europa League holders and finalists again this season, won 3-2 at Malaga to finish fifth, sending them into the continent's second-tier competition again next season along with sixth-placed Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao in seventh.

Pochettino: We are on way up

Mauricio Pochettino accepts it may be difficult for people outside Tottenham to see the club's progress this season, but he remains confident they can continue to move forwards. Spurs head to Everton today looking to secure qualification for the Champions League.

"We are in a process with a lot of change, and it is difficult for people outside to see, but we are ambitious, so we need to work hard to do better next season," said Pochettino.

Limerick fall to Longford defeat

Longford Town picked up their first win in four as Mark Salmon's first half goal helped them to a 1-0 win over Limerick.

In a game of poor quality chances were at a premium. Sean Russell came close to putting Limerick in front in the 20th minute but his shot was blocked down by Mark Rossiter. Five minutes later the home side opened the scoring; Pat Sullivan's shot came off Mark Salmon and the player ended up finishing to the net.

Town squandered a few opportunities after that but were nearly made rue them in the 51st minute but Russell should've done better with his effort.

Limerick's Paul O'Connor headed over at the death as they fell to another defeat and still await their first win of the season.

Southend grab play-off glory

goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was the villain turned hero, scoring an own-goal and saving the final penalty, as Southend won a place in League One after a penalty shoot-out in the League Two play-off at Wembley stadium yesterday evening against Wycombe Wanderers.

The two sides were all-square at 0-0 after normal time but Wycombe broke the deadlock in the 94th minute after Aaron Holloway was tripped just outside the box. A Joe Jacobson free-kick rattled the bar before spinning back and bouncing off Bentley and into the net. Joe Pigott spared his team-mate's blushes in the 124th minute and Bentley turned the tide by tipping Wood's spot-kick onto the post for a 7-6 victory after penalties.

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