Rangers’ breakthrough came through the head of Connor GoldsonScottish Cup holders Rangers eased past Raith Rovers at Ibrox to progress to the competition’s semi-finals.
Connor Goldson’s goal on the brink of half-time was well-deserved, before Ryan Nolan’s unfortunate own-goal and Scott Arfield’s injury-time strike.
Michael Beale’s side dominated proceedings and never looked like losing to their Championship opposition.
Rangers now join Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Celtic in the final four.
The draw for the semi-finals follows Falkirk v Ayr United on Monday, live on BBC Scotland.
Subscribe to Rangers news and analysisIncredibly, Raith Rovers almost opened the scoring in spectacular circumstances when Isma Goncalves tried to lob Allan McGregor from the half-way line – but it bounced just wide.
That was about all the visitors were able to conjure up. Rangers soon went about surrounding the Rovers box, but they struggled to break into the area cleanly in open play.
Instead, they relied on whipping inviting crosses towards Fashion Sakala and Antonio Colak. They found no joy until Goldson joined the attack from a corner, and his emphatic back-post header eased any Ibrox nerves just before the break.
James Tavernier almost caught out Jamie MacDonald in the first half with a cross to the front post. He went closer in the second, collecting a half-cleared corner and smashing a half-volley off a post.
Rangers’ second goal was an even better finish. Unfortunately, it came from a Rovers player. A nothing cross came low into the box and Nolan somehow sliced his clearance high over MacDonald and in.
The hosts pushed for a third, with Todd Cantwell trying from distance and MacDonald producing a smart stop to deny sub Arfield.
The keeper couldn’t stop the third goal, though, with Arfield finishing from close range following a nice attacking move.
Rudimentary in the end for Rangers.
Player of the match – Borna Barisic (Rangers)Sometimes lamented but when allowed time and space, Barisic can deliver inviting crosses over and overStraightforward for Rangers, if lacking in spark – analysisWhether looking at the game statistically or just with the naked eye, it was clear that Rangers dominated and deserved to win.
The only worry Beale and some fans would have is their lack of a clinical touch up top – a surprise given the clinic they put on against Hibs through the week.
They don’t lack creativity, but there was little cutting edge to their game and Beale will be keen to change that.
Colak was sloppy, and with Alfredo Morelos perhaps on his way out, a new striker might be top of the summer wish list.
What they saidRangers manager Michael Beale: “Raith sat back and the styles clashed in the game. It wasn’t one that got the pulses raising. It was still 3-0, still comfortable, 24 shots, 18 corners. I’d have liked us to be a little more ruthless at times.
“We were slightly quicker at the start of the second-half. It’s a different problem each game to solve. It feels a bit flat, the crowd were a little flat because there was expectation in the air. In a few weeks, everyone will just remember the score.”
Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray: “I take tremendous pride in the players and the football. On and off the park we conducted ourselves in the right manner.
“We knew it would be difficult. There’s so many positives today. Yes, we acknowledge the negatives – we’re out of the cup – but my overriding feeling is pride.”
What’s next?Rangers travel to Motherwell in league action next Saturday (12:30 GMT), while Raith host Cove Rangers in the Championship (15:00) the same day.
1McGregor2Tavernier6GoldsonSubstituted forSouttarat 66’minutes26Davies31BarisicSubstituted forYilmazat 66’minutes4LundstramBooked at 75mins43Raskin30SakalaSubstituted forArfieldat 66’minutes13CantwellBooked at 90mins14KentSubstituted forHagiat 78’minutes9ColakSubstituted forMorelosat 78’minutesSubstitutes3Yilmaz7Hagi8Jack16Souttar18Kamara20Morelos23Wright33McLaughlin37ArfieldRaith RoversFormation 4-5-1
1MacDonald30MassonSubstituted forYoungat 81’minutes12Lang5Nolan3Dick7ConnollyBooked at 41mins6SpencerBooked at 69mins16Stanton11McBrideSubstituted forVaughanat 45’minutesBooked at 90mins23Easton77Esmael GonçalvesSubstituted forRossat 68’minutesSubstitutes10Vaughan17Thomson19Mahady22Ross29YoungReferee:John Beaton
Live TextMatch ends, Rangers 3, Raith Rovers 0.
Second Half ends, Rangers 3, Raith Rovers 0.
Attempt missed. Ianis Hagi (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left following a corner.
Attempt saved. Nicolas Raskin (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Tom Lang.
Lewis Vaughan (Raith Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Todd Cantwell (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Todd Cantwell (Rangers).
Lewis Vaughan (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Rangers 3, Raith Rovers 0. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Todd Cantwell.
John Souttar (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lewis Vaughan (Raith Rovers).
Substitution, Raith Rovers. Greig Young replaces Adam Masson.
Foul by Todd Cantwell (Rangers).
Brad Spencer (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Rangers. Alfredo Morelos replaces Antonio-Mirko Colak.
Substitution, Rangers. Ianis Hagi replaces Ryan Kent.
Foul by Todd Cantwell (Rangers).
Liam Dick (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Player of the match
with an average of 7.32
RangersSquad number13Player nameCantwell
Squad number31Player nameBarisic
Squad number6Player nameGoldson
Squad number37Player nameArfield
Squad number14Player nameKent
Squad number2Player nameTavernier
Squad number43Player nameRaskin
Squad number26Player nameDavies
Squad number9Player nameColak
Squad number30Player nameSakala
Squad number4Player nameLundstram
Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
Squad number7Player nameHagi
Squad number3Player nameYilmaz
Squad number20Player nameMorelos
Squad number16Player nameSouttar
Raith RoversSquad number1Player nameMacDonald
Squad number12Player nameLang
Squad number5Player nameNolan
Squad number16Player nameStanton
Squad number23Player nameEaston
Squad number7Player nameConnolly
Squad number3Player nameDick
Squad number6Player nameSpencer
Squad number11Player nameMcBride
Squad number10Player nameVaughan
Squad number22Player nameRoss
Squad number30Player nameMasson
Squad number77Player nameEsmael Gonçalves
Squad number29Player nameYoung