RANGERS kicked-off their Florida Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro.

Josh Windass got the only goal of the game at the Orlando City Stadium as the Light Blues returned to action with a comfortable victory.

Murty has spent recent days putting his squad through their paces at their training base at the IMG Academy and it was a pleasing night for him in the Sunshine State.

The Gers boss confirmed before kick-off that he would field different line-ups in either half and it was an experimental side that took to the field.

January recruits Sean Goss and Jamie Murphy were handed their debuts, while there were also starts for Jak Alnwick and Dalcio and youngsters Aidan Wilson and Serge Atakayi.

Several hundred Gers fans were making themselves heard but it was the small band of Brazilians behind the opposite goal that should have had the first goal to cheer.

Dalcio was caught out twice in six minutes but Rangers escaped on both occasions as Thalis saw his low shot come back off the far post before Alnwick saved well from Pablo.

Goss looked tidy in possession in the middle of the park as he tried to get on the ball and dictate play from deep. He also had a crack at goal that keeper Cleiton was able to hold.

Murphy was one of the other bright sparks for the Light Blues but he couldn’t mark his debut with a goal before he was replaced at the break.

It was Niko Kranjcar that had the final chance of the first half but his free-kick was held as a low-key first 45 minutes ended without the deadlock being broken.

Murty made ten switches at the interval as Alnwick was the only one to retain his place. Andy Halliday pulled on a Gers jersey once again alongside youngster Jamie Barjonas, while Michael O’Halloran also returned following his loan spell at St Johnstone.

But it was Daniel Candeias on the opposite wing that created the first chance after the break as he set up Windass, whose powerful strike on the angle was saved by the keeper.

Halliday should have done better with a low effort from the edge of the area but Rangers didn’t need to wait long to open the scoring.

Candeias was involved down the left this time and his cross found Eduardo Herrera. After meeting a lay-off from the striker, Windass beat Cleiton with a clinical finish to put Murty’s side ahead.

The midfielder has been in fine form of late and he almost doubled Rangers’ advantage when he burst forward and combined with Herrera again. His strike was narrowly wide of the far post on this occasion, though.

It didn’t prove costly for the Light Blues, however, as they held on to record a deserved win.

Rangers will now face Corinthians on Saturday before they return to Glasgow and turn their attentions to the Scottish Cup clash with Fraserburgh next weekend.

Rangers first half: Alnwick, Tavernier, Danny Wilson, Aidan Wilson, Dalcio, Atakayi, Goss, Holt, Murphy, Kranjcar, Morelos

Rangers second half: Alnwick (Kelly), Hodson, Bates, Cardoso, John, Candeias, Halliday, Barjonas, O’Halloran, Windass, Herrera

HeraldScotland | Sport

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