Mendes breaks Partick hearts

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Football News

Pedro Mendes spared Rangers' blushes with an extra-time winner against Partick after the holders had looked in danger of crashing out of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

Rangers had hoped for a comfortable night at Firhill when Kris Boyd opened the scoring with 25 minutes on the clock - only to be pegged back just eight minutes later by Stephen McKeown.

Partick left Ibrox with a 1-1 draw in the Scottish Cup last season and they proved difficult to overcome once again. But Mendes struck after 115 minutes to put Rangers through with a 2-1 win after extra-time.

Partick carved out the first chance of the game when Gary Harkins skipped past Kirk Broadfoot on the left flank and whipped the ball into the path of Simon Donnelly. His shot from close range was blocked before David Rowson dragged the rebound wide from distance.

But it was Rangers who opened the scoring with 25 minutes gone. Steven Davis was the provider and Boyd shrugged off John Robertson out on the left to send an unstoppable volley into the top corner of the net.

The plucky Irn-Bru First Division side levelled with 33 minutes on the clock when McKeown rifled home from eight yards.

With five minutes remaining before the interval, Nacho Novo squandered a great chance to restore Rangers' lead, blasting spectacularly over.

Partick could have been ahead shortly after the restart. McKeown turned provider with a pass intended for Kevin McKinlay lurking in the goalmouth. Broadfoot intercepted but his clumsy attempts at a clearance saw him come dangerously close to bundling the ball into his own net.

Thistle could have snatched victory with a few minutes to go when Rowson found himself one on one with Neil Alexander only for the Rangers goalkeeper to win the battle, before Chris Turner also saw his rebound effort blocked and hooked to safety.

Despite Thistle's best efforts, it was not to be their night as Mendes claimed the decisive goal in style with 115 minutes played. Partick lost possession, allowing DaMarcus Beasley to set up the midfielder for a swerving right-footed effort.

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Steven Davis
Pedro Mendes
Premier League
Chris Turner

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