GARY MCALLISTER hailed Ianis Hagi for sparking Rangers into life as the champions overcame Livingston to book their place in the semi-finals of the Premier Sports Cup.

Hagi stepped off the bench to inspire Steven Gerrard's side to a much-improved second half showing as Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos found the target.

The Romanian has only just returned to the squad following a spell in quarantine with Covid and assistant manager McAllister hailed his impact at Ibrox.

McAllister said: "We are delighted. We are delighted with the result. It was a case of job done.

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"I thought first half we huffed and puffed. We did create a few chances but, again, we felt, speaking to the players at half time, that we were a bit wasteful in the final third and just lacking a wee bit of quality and guile to create that quality pass or get that strike on goal.

"Made a wee change at half-time, the manager, and it paid dividends. We lacked a bit of guile and a bit of quality and I thought Ianis brought it.

"Credit to him because he has had a tough time recently with Covid, ten days quarantine and he was only back two or three days ago. I thought he looked sharp and he brought that bit of quality that we needed.

"Come the end of the game, we have scored two goals. First half was a repeat of the weekend, a bit wasteful in the final third. Ianis coming back now brings that wee bit of quality and it was nice for the two strikers to score goals."

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Livingston offered no attacking threat of their own before Hagi picked out Roofe to open the scoring just after the break.

Keeper Max Stryjek handed Morelos the second on a plate minutes later and manager David Martindale was frustrated with the moment of madness.

Martindale said: "We were going to make a couple of substitutions, more offensive substitutions, to try and overturn the goal and then a basic schoolboy error, I can’t think of another work for it, a basic error kills the game. At 2-0 you are probably never coming back from that here to be honest."