On a night when the Scottish Premiership returned, a USMNT player Malik Tillman was the difference for Rangers in their comeback victory against Hibernian at Ibrox.
The Gers had a dreadful start to the match when Ryan Porteous headed into their net from a corner early on. The home side responded as Fashion Sakala fired into the bottom corner. However, Hibs retook the lead a minute later, with Kevin Nisbet lashing the ball in.
The second half was the time for Tillman to step up. His flick-on from a James Tavernier corner fell to Ryan Jack, who equalised with a tap-in. Tillman then beat the Hibernian defence with a strong run, before laying the ball off to Alfredo Morelos to score the winner.
It was the man-of-the-match performance from Tillman, who excelled in his attacking midfield role. He was not the only American representing the Scottish side, as James Sands shored them up at the back after a shaky first half.
Malik Tillman helped Rangers to an important win
Rangers had a new manager for this game. Michael Beale, Steven Gerrard’s assistant at the club, took charge following a successful spell as Queens Park Rangers boss.
Beale replaced Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who won the Scottish Cup and steered them to the Europa League final last season. However, with the club’s poor start to the Scottish Premiership by their standards this year, and an awful Champions League campaign, he was shown the door.
Beale’s side is second in the league, nine points off their arch-rivals Celtic, who top the division. They face the Hoops on January 2nd, where the Gers will be looking for revenge after their 4-0 loss in the Old Firm earlier in the season.
Tillman could join Rangers permanently
Although Tillman was left out of the USMNT’s World Cup squad, he has impressed since arriving in Scotland on loan from Bayern Munich. In total, he has four goals and five assists in 24 matches for The Gers.
He has made seven first-team appearances for Bayern, including two in the Champions League, and scored his one goal for the club against Bremer SV, in a 12-0 DFB-Pokal win.
Tillman’s form for Rangers this season will still be unlikely to force him back into the Munich team, as they currently have Jamal Musiala occupying their attacking midfield role. Making the move to Rangers permanently would be a wise decision, as he knows the club and will be able to settle there.
The Scottish Sun has reported that “Tillman is ready to commit his long-term future to Rangers. Any deal would cost Gers around £4.5million and the USA international revealed he would love to make the move permanent.”
The USMNT has a strong midfield of Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah. However, if Tillman keeps this form up, he will no doubt get back into the national side. He currently has four caps for the Stars and Stripes, and after missing out on the squad for Qatar, he will be desperate to make sure he is there when the US co-hosts the tournament in 2026.
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