A second-half goal by Josh Windass lifted Rangers to victory in the club’s first ever Florida Cup match
A second-half Josh Windass goal lifted Scottish giants Rangers FC. to a 1-0 win over Brazilian side Clube Atlético Mineiro in the second game of the 2018 Florida Cup at Orlando City Stadium. It was the first appearance in the tournament for Rangers, who used possession-oriented play to outmatch the more direct playing style of Atletico, which consistently struggled against Rangers’ high press.
“It was a very good workout and result in very humid conditions that we’re not used to,” said Rangers Manager Graeme Murty after the match. “I saw a lot of promising things from both halves.”
While the starters remained deadlocked at the half, it proved the substitutes had what Rangers needed to secure the win tonight. Atletico appeared to see if they could take advantage of the mass substitution by the opponents to begin the second half but it looked very much the opposite. The Scots were unopposed — substitutes or not — against the starters from Brazil. Windass, Florida Cup’s Man of the Match, broke the deadlock in the 69th minute on what was ultimately a night Atletico will want to forget as the Brazilians looked out of sorts all evening.
Atletico lined up in a 4-5-1, with goalkeeper Cleiton, defenders Adson, Rodrigão, Donato and Mansur, midfielders Adilson, Lorran, Ralph, Pablo, and Thalis, and the lone forward Leleu. Cleiton and Masur the only two holdovers from the first team with the rest filled in with a collection of young talent.
Rangers countered with a 4-4-2 with Jan Alnwick in net and defenders Danny Wilson, James Tavernier, Dálcio Gomes, and Aidan Wilson. The midfield consisted of Jason Holt, Serge Atakayi, Jamie Murphy and Sean Goss. The men up top were Alfredo Morelos and underneath him played Niko Krancjar. On paper, Rangers appeared to bring the stronger side with six players listed on the first team. Murphy and Goss were both added to the team in this transfer window and were seeing their first starts as Rangers.
Atletico started hot on the front foot causing a clearance from Alnwick and another opportunity where the keeper was forced to push the winger toward the goal line, leading to an eventual corner that found the six-yard box but nothing else.