RANGERS recorded an impressive win over Premier League Watford in their penultimate pre-season game thanks to a late Martyn Waghorn goal.
The striker was on target two minutes from time to snatch the spoils for Pedro Caixinha’s side after Daniel Candeias fired the Gers ahead just before half-time in the training ground friendly. That is the Portuguese’s first goal for his new side.
Stefano Okaka pegged the home side back on the hour mark after their summer signing, Nathaniel Chalobah, thundered a driven strike off Jak Alnwick’s crossbar.
Rangers tore out of the blocks and nearly took the lead in the first minute through Kenny Miller, who drew a close-range save from Costel Pantilimon.
Chalobah had Watford’s first chance with 15 minutes played. The ex-Chelsea midfielder’s free-kick from just outside the area was palmed away by Alnwick, who was starting his first friendly of the pre-season campaign.
Sebastian Prödl headed just over the target after Etienne Capoue swung over a free-kick from the left-hand side with 36 minutes played, then moments later Nordin Amrabat saw a curling effort saved.
Despite Watford having a hatful of chances just three minutes before the break, Candeias converted Lee Wallace’s deep cross via the near post to hand the Light Blues the lead.
Both sides made changes at the break but Alnwick remained in goal for Caixinha’s side and was called into action early on, this time from Watford new boy Will Hughes. The midfielder arrived from Derby County in June and the Gers stopper kept out the substitutes’ control and volley well.
Watford drew level in the 59th minute thanks to Okaka, who reacted quickest to convert from close-range after Chalobah’s long-range effort cannoned off the bar with Alnwick beaten.
That wouldn’t be the first time the Hornets found the woodwork. Sub Jermone Sinclair’s made an instant impact when the former Liverpool forward beat his man and struck the top of the near post after running onto a clever flick by Pereyra.
Rangers had two decent late chances and they both came from Alfredo Morelos. First Watford’s substitute keeper Daniel Bachmann tipped his header wide at full stretch before getting down quickly to deny the Colombian one-on-one.
And then just as the game seemed destined for a draw, Waghorn found the bottom right-hand corner with a clever finish from inside the area to hand the Scottish side a late winner.
RANGERS Starting XI: Alnwick, Tavernier, Alves, Cardoso, Wallace; Jack, Dorrans, Candeias, Windass; Miller, Herrera.
Goals: Candeias 42′ Waghorn 88′
Picture Credit: Watford Football Club