Martin Boyle was the hero of the Hibernian hat-trick, beating the Rangers 3-1 in the Scottish League Cup final next month against Anje Postecoglo’s Celtic.
New Rangers chief Giovanni van Bronkhorst waited for a work permit from the main stand at Hampden Park, as Gers midfielder Scott Arfield’s strike saw the Australian international score three times in 38 minutes.
However, Hibbs remained flexible under pressure and the Rangers, led by Steven Gerrard with the help of B-team coach David McCullum and his assistant Brian Gilmore, player-coach Jermaine Defoe and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart, lost their temper and time.
Former Gers player Van Bronckhorst will be concerned about the Rangers’ symbolic defending in the first half while Jack Ross’s side will now look to play another side of the old firm at the National Stadium on December 19.
“It’s incredible, I can’t put it into words,” Boyle said.
“That game is at the top. Such moments don’t come often, you have to appreciate them.
“We came here today and saw what we were capable of.”
Aberdonian Boyle, who plays for Australia as Babu Grimm from Sydney, took the lead in the ninth minute. Rangers captain James Tavernier tried to get Joe Newell’s corner back into his keeper and saw a short come-up as he was alert to hit Alan McGregor’s ball from a yard out.
12 minutes later, Kevin Nisbet took a pass from Newell and played at Boyle, trailing McGregor for second place.
The light blues were just stunned.
The situation worsened for the Rangers when midfielder Steve Davis hit Boyle inside the box in the 38th minute.
Hibbis Forward beat McGregor and took the kick himself to entertain Hibbos fans.
They were still celebrating when Hibs defender Ryan Portius kicked a clearance straight to Orfield who curled the ball off Matt Messi to reduce the deficit.
Although the Light Blues spent most of the second half pressing, they could not reduce the deficit.