Stunning Sima strike helps Rangers beat Kilmarnock

 
Rangers' Ross McCausland (left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at the Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Tuesday January 2, 2024. 

Rangers manager Philippe Clement vowed to do "more business" after heading into the Scottish Premiership break with victory over Kilmarnock.

Ross McCausland fired the hosts in front after Kyle Vassell was denied when clean through on the Rangers goal, and Abdallah Sima's stunning chest touch and volley added a quick second before the break.

Danny Armstrong converted a VAR-awarded penalty following John Souttar's handball - the first Rangers have conceded in 75 league games - but Todd Cantwell restored the two-goal advantage.

Rangers, beaten by Celtic on Saturday, are eight points behind the league leaders with two games in hand and gave new forward signing Fabio Silva a run out as a substitute. Kilmarnock, fourth, trail Hearts by five points.

"We're going to do some more business," said Clement. "Everybody in the club is aligned around that and we have now one month to do the good business."
Kilmarnock counterpart Derek McInnes, meanwhile, hopes to sign a striker.

"You can do good work in January," he said. "There's two or three things been identified.

"I actually don't think I've ever been in a transfer window where I've not been looking for a striker. We'll try and bring a striker in or a forward player in that can maybe compliment what we've got.

"It's free agents and the loan market that we'll look to try and exploit. I just don't want anybody to leave."

The Vassell chance prompted Kilmarnock's best spell of the game, though that was their best opening.

And it was against the run of play that Rangers took the lead. Cyriel Dessers, having gone close with a shot and a header, swept a superb pass from halfway in behind David Watson for McCausland to chase and finish.

Then came Sima's moment. The winger received Connor Goldson's pass on the 18-yard line, controlled, spun away from Joe Wright and lashed a shot past the helpless Will Dennis.

The half-time scoreline was harsh on Kilmarnock and they needed a response early in the second period.

They probed and when Rory McKenzie's delivery struck Souttar's arm, referee John Beaton reviewed at the monitor and pointed to the spot - the first Premiership penalty Rangers have conceded since January 2022. Armstrong scored confidently.

But the reprieve was short lived. Ridvan Yilmaz's cross from the left perfectly met the near-post run of Cantwell and the midfielder applied the finish.

Rangers' first signing of the January transfer window, Fabio Silva, came on for his debut in place of Dessers and James Tavernier, twice, and Cantwell tested Dennis in the final half hour.

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