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Scottish Recap: Ian Harkes Assists in Dundee United Win

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Ian Harkes provided an assist for Dundee United as they came away with a come-from-behind win over Motherwell to give them a boost as the Relegation group phase is right around the corner.

Motherwell 1-2 Dundee United

Dundee United gave their survival hopes a boost as they came from behind to claim all three points to beat Motherwell at Fir Park.

Ian Harkes started and played the full 90 for the Tangerines, completing 74 percent of his passes, winning a duel, and making one tackle along with a shot.

United was on the attack early in the contest, but it would be the hosts that opened the scoring after 22 minutes. Kevin van Veen played the ball to teammate Max Johnston who returned it to him in the center of the 12-yard box. His first shot was saved by goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, but the rebound was put away by the Dutchman.

Entering the second half, Motherwell thought they had doubled their lead when van Veen curled in a shot from the left side of the box, but it was disallowed as he was ruled offside by his foot.

United was still very much in the game and they grabbed the equalizer in the 63rd minute when Harkes found the space to receive the ball from Keiran Freeman and center it to Ilmari Niskanen to slot home.

The visitors’ day got better when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty following goalkeeper Liam Kelly’s reckless challenge on Darren Fletcher in the box. Jamie McGrath stepped up to put away the spot-kick in the 71st minute.

The scoreline would prove to be enough as United lift themselves off the bottom of the standings.

The win moves Dundee United up to 10th place with 28 points.

Rangers 5-2 St. Mirren

St. Mirren proved to be stubborn opponents, but Rangers were able to get the job done as they came away with the in at Ibrox.

Malik Tillman started and played 77 minutes for the Light Blues, completing 83 percent of his passes and winning six duels.

The hosts had chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot after St. Mirren’s Alex Gogic tripped up Nicolas Raskin in the box, but James Tavernier would be denied the spot-kick as goalkeeper Trevor Carson dove to his right to deny the captain the goal.

That did not deter Rangers as they were back on the attack an finally got their first goal in the 26th minute. Tavernier’s low cross from the right side found Todd Cantwell as he sprinted towards the six-yard box to get his foot on the ball and score.

However, the stuborness of the visitors came into play just before the halftime whistle when they shockingly leveled the score through Mark O’Hara as his volley hit the back of the net.

Fshion Sakala restored Rangers’ lead three minutes into the second half. The Zambian international would get his on Borna Barisic’s free-kick which was out of reach for Carson to stop.

The visitors again showed they game for this encounter as they scored the equalizer in the 65th minute. O’Hara was able to pounce on Rangers’ failure to clear the ball from their area and the Scotsman made them pay with a strike that went into the bottom right side of the goal.

The hosts then went on to score three unaswered goals to put the game out of reach for their opponents. Alfredo Morelos scored twice in the span of two minutes before Scott Arfield sealed the game with a tally of his own.

The win leaves Rangers in second place in the standings with 79 points.


Elsewhere, in the Premiership, Cameron Carter-Vickers was given the day off but Celtic did not miss a beat as the champions came out on top in a 4-1 win over Kilmarnock.

Matthew Hoppe was on the bench but saw no action for Hibernian in their 1-0 win over Hearts.

Brian Schwake was between the posts again for Greenock Morton while Pierre Reedy played the final four minutes and change for Dundee as they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw. Greenock is three points out from securing a promotion playoff spot.


Kenya Brown

Born in America, but raised in Europe and Asia, Kenya has loved soccer ever since his parents put a ball at his feet. While covering some of the top U.S. players around Europe, he loves putting the spotlight on players who are based in leagues off the beaten path. He also interviews coaches and other people in the game to gain more insight.

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