SPFL Week 2 Round-Up
In gameweek two there were only five games played, as St Johnstone vs Aberdeen was postponed.
Eight Aberdeen players are now self-isolating for 14 days after going out for drinks after their opening game defeat to Rangers. Aberdeen fans are understandably angry by their behaviour and the team’s performances may be seriously affected given that a couple of ‘Star Players’ are amongst those isolated. The players sent out an apology to the fans, staff and everyone involved with the club saying that they had no intentions of breaking the rules.
Hamilton 0-1 Ross County
After Ross County’s impressive 1-0 victory over Motherwell they were looking to keep their winning streak going as they travelled to face Hamilton at New Douglas Park.
Hamilton struggled to test the keeper much in the game and most of their shots went straight into Ross Laidlaw’s hands. Ross County had much better chances and with only 15 minutes to go, the ball was whipped into the box. What resulted was a typical goalmouth stramash with a few shots blocked or saved before the ball eventually landed kindly at Billy McKay’s feet and he smashed the ball into the net giving the Staggies a well deserved lead.
Hamilton had a couple of chances but they couldn’t get the equaliser, giving Ross County their second victory of the season.
Motherwell 0-1 Dundee United
Newly promoted Dundee United travelled to Lanarkshire to face Motherwell in their first away game of the season. Motherwell were coming into the match after a disappointing loss to Ross County looking to bounce back with a victory.
The first half was uneventful with not many chances to either team and certainly no clear-cut chances. Dundee United started strong in the second half and just seven minutes in a cross whipped in from the right hand side would be flicked on by Luke Bolton to find captain Mark Reynolds at the back post to smash the ball into the roof of the net giving the Terrors a one goal lead.
Late on in the second half Jordan White thought he had given Motherwell the equaliser, however, it would be disallowed for a push in the build-up to the goal and that was the final chance of the game.
Four points from two games is a great start for the newcomers and Tuesday’s game against Hibernian is sure to be a great encounter.
Livingston 1-4 Hibernian
After Hibernian beat Kilmarnock on the weekend they were confident of getting a result at Livingston. It didn’t take too long for Hibernian to take the lead and it was young striker Kevin Nisbet scoring a tap-in after Daryl Horgan’s low cross landed at the Scotsman’s feet.
13 minutes later, Daryl Horgan whipped the ball in from the left flank and Kevin Nisbet out jumped the Livingston defenders and headed the ball into the bottom left corner giving Hibernian a two goal lead.
Hibs weren’t stopping there, only four minutes later a corner would come in and after a scramble in the box the final touch came from Welsh striker Christian Doidge. Three goals up before half-time gave the Hibees clear daylight for the second half.
A clumsy foul in the box from young centre-back Ryan Porteous on Slovenian forward Matej Poplatnik would give the Lions a chance to mount a comeback. Lyndon Dykes took the penalty and the Australian made no mistake in giving Livingston their first goal of the season.
Despite their goal it wasn’t a good performance from the hosts and as the game was coming to a close Marvin Bartley would bring down Hibernian midfielder Melker Hallberg and the referee again pointed to the spot. Kevin Nisbet stepped up and placed the ball into the bottom right corner and in only his second competitive game for his new team he scored a hat-trick for the Hibees. This young striker looks like he could tear the league up this season.
Hibernian are currently sitting top of the league and it is only two games in but both performances have been very good.
Rangers 3-0 St Mirren
After St Mirren’s win over Livingston last week they were feeling hopeful but traveling to Ibrox to play Rangers is never an easy fixture.
Rangers dominated the opening stages of this game with Morelos getting a few decent chances, but it would be an own goal by St Mirren centre back Conor McCarthy that opened the scoring for Rangers. Alfredo Morelos put in a dangerous ball which came off the thigh of the Irishman to put them 1-0 up.
Rangers came out in the second half hungry for more and they got doubled their lead when James Tavernier whipped in a corner. Morelos evaded his marker and headed the ball past Jak Alnwick.
Rangers weren’t stopping there and Croatian full-back Borna Barisic made a surging run into the box his shot was deflected but it fell kindly at the Colombian’s feet and Morelos tapped it in for his second of the game.
A comfortable win for Rangers saw them maintain their 100% start to the season and it was good to see Morelos get his first couple of goals for this campaign.
Kilmarnock 1-1 Celtic
Kilmarnock were hoping to bounce back after their loss to Hibernian but a home game against the champions was never going to be an easy task, especially with Celtic demolishing Hamilton 5-1 on the opening day.
Around ten minutes into the game Odsonne Edouard was brought down by Gary Dicker in the Kilmarnock half. Ryan Christie would take the free kick with his left foot and from a long way out it found its way into the bottom right hand corner giving the Bhoys an early lead.
Soon after that goal, Kilmarnock forward Nicke Kabamba would take the ball into the Celtic box and as he was getting past Christopher Jullien the French centre-back pulled him back giving referee Alan Muir no option but to point to the spot. Chris Burke stepped up and despite Barkas diving the right way the ball would end up in the bottom right hand corner giving Killie an equaliser.
Both teams had a few more chances in the first half with the best one going to Kilmarnock when Kabamba got the better side of Jullien again but good tracking back from the Frenchman saw him put in a well needed challenge to put an end to the attack.
Celtic came out in the second half looking the far superior side and Kilmarnock struggled to get out of their own half. Despite the pressure they couldn’t get any clear cut chances and the game was overloaded with long shots from the away side but none of them could go in.
A strong defensive performance from Killie saw them win a hard-earned point, Celtic will feel as though they should’ve won this game and dropped points early on is not great for Neil Lennon’s side.
Three of the four Scottish teams found out who they will be playing in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League and Europa League.
Celtic drew Kr Reykjavik of Iceland and should they win that they will face either Ferencvaros from Hungary or Djurgarden from Sweden.
In the Europa League Aberdeen will face either Barry Town from Wales or NSI Runavik from Faroe Islands and Motherwell will face either Glentoran FC from Northern Ireland or Havnar Boltfelag from Faroe Islands in the first qualifying round. Rangers will be drawn in a future Europa League qualifying round.
Rangers have completed the signing of Jamaican forward Kemar Roofe from Belgium side Anderlecht for a fee of around 4.5 million pounds on a four year deal. They also signed Swiss Striker Cedric Itten from St Gallen for 2.7 million pounds.
Kilmarnock signed former Hearts defender Clevid Dikamona on a one year deal helping secure the defence.