2017–18 Scottish League Cup

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2017–18 Scottish League Cup
Country Scotland
Dates 15 July 2017 – 26 November 2017
Teams 44
Defending champions Celtic
Champions Celtic
Runners-up Motherwell
Matches played 95
Goals scored 324 (3.41 per match)
Top goal scorer(s) Simon Murray (8 goals)[1]
All statistics correct as of 26 November 2017.

The 2017–18 Scottish League Cup was the 72nd season of Scotland's second-most prestigious football knockout competition. It was also known as the Betfred Cup for sponsorship reasons.

The format for the 2017–18 competition remained the same as that which was introduced in the previous season's competition, it began with eight groups of five teams which included all Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs, excluding those competing in Champions League and Europa League qualifiers, as well as the top teams from the 2016–17 Highland Football League (Buckie Thistle) and the 2016–17 Lowland Football League (East Kilbride).

The competition was won by Celtic, who beat Motherwell 2–0 in the final on 26 November 2017.[2]

Schedule[edit]

Round First match date Fixtures Clubs
Group stage 15 July 2017[3] 80 44 → 16
Second round 8 August 2017[3] 8 16 → 80
Quarter finals 19 September 2017[3] 4 8 → 4
Semi finals 21 October 2017[3] 2 4 → 2
Final 26 November 2017[3] 1 2 → 1

Format[edit]

The competition began with eight groups of five teams, the four clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League (Celtic) and Europa League (Aberdeen, Rangers and St Johnstone) qualifying rounds were given a bye through to the second round. The 40 teams competing in the group stage consisted of the other eight teams that competed in the 2016–17 Scottish Premiership, and all of the teams that competed in the 2016–17 Scottish Championship, 2016–17 Scottish League One and 2016–17 Scottish League Two, as well as the 2016–17 Highland Football League and the 2016–17 Lowland Football League champions.[4]

The winners of each of the eight groups, as well as the four best runners-up progressed to the second round (last 16), which included the four UEFA qualifying clubs,[4] at this stage, the competition reverted to the traditional knock-out format.[4] The four group winners with the highest points total and the clubs entering at this stage were seeded, with the four group winners with the lowest points unseeded along with the four best runners-up.

Bonus point system[edit]

In December 2015, the SPFL announced that alongside the new group stage format, a bonus point system would be introduced to provide greater excitement and increase the number of meaningful games at this stage,[5] the traditional point system of awarding three points for a win and one point for a draw was used, however, for each group stage match that finished in a draw, a penalty shoot-out took place, with the winner being awarded a bonus point.[4]

Group stage[edit]

The group stage was made up of eight teams from the 2016–17 Scottish Premiership, and all ten teams from each of the 2016–17 Scottish Championship, 2016–17 Scottish League One and 2016–17 Scottish League Two, as well as the winners of the 2016–17 Highland Football League and 2016–17 Lowland Football League. The 40 teams were divided into two sections: North and South; with each section containing four top seeded teams, four second seeded teams and 12 unseeded teams. Each section was drawn into four groups with each group being made up of one top seed, one second seed and three unseeded sides.[6][7] Seedings for the draw were confirmed on 31 May 2017, two days before the draw.[7]

The draw for the group stages took place on Friday 2 June 2017 at 6:30pm BST at the BT Sport Studio in London and was shown live on BT Sport 2.[4]

North section[edit]

Group A[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification FAL INV STI BRE FOR
1 Falkirk (Q) 4 4 0 0 0 13 1 +12 12 Qualification for the Second Round 4–1 4–0
2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle (X) 4 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 8 Possible Second Round 0–2 3–0
3 Stirling Albion 4 2 0 1 1 6 5 +1 7 0–0p 2–0
4 Brechin City 4 0 1 0 3 1 9 −8 2 0–3 p1–1
5 Forfar Athletic 4 0 0 1 3 3 10 −7 1 1–2 1–3
Source: [8]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[9]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to best runners-up.

Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification DNF PET HOM EFI ELG
1 Dunfermline Athletic (Q) 4 2 2 0 0 13 3 +10 10 Qualification for the Second Round 5–1 6–0
2 Peterhead (X) 4 3 0 0 1 7 6 +1 9 Possible Second Round 2–1 1–0
3 Heart of Midlothian 4 2 0 1 1 7 4 +3 7 2–2p 3–0
4 East Fife 4 1 0 1 2 3 6 −3 4 0–0p 3–2
5 Elgin City 4 0 0 0 4 2 13 −11 0 0–3 0–1
Source: [10]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[11]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

Group C[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification DUN DND RAI COW BUC
1 Dundee United (Q) 4 3 1 0 0 10 2 +8 11 Qualification for the Second Round 2–0 4–1
2 Dundee (X) 4 3 0 1 0 8 2 +6 10 Possible Second Round 1–1p 2–0
3 Raith Rovers 4 2 0 0 2 9 5 +4 6 1–2 2–0
4 Cowdenbeath 4 1 0 0 3 5 11 −6 3 0–3 4–2
5 Buckie Thistle 4 0 0 0 4 3 15 −12 0 0–3 1–6
Source: [12]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[13]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to best runners-up.

Group D[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification HIB ROS ARB MON ALO
1 Hibernian (Q) 4 3 0 1 0 13 1 +12 10 Qualification for the Second Round 6–1 4–0
2 Ross County (X) 4 2 2 0 0 8 0 +8 10 Possible Second Round p0–0 2–0
3 Arbroath 4 1 1 1 1 6 7 −1 6 0–0p 4–0
4 Montrose 4 1 0 0 3 2 15 −13 3 0–6 2–1
5 Alloa Athletic 4 0 0 1 3 2 8 −6 1 0–3 1–1p
Source: [14]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[15]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

South section[edit]

Group E[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AYR KIL CLY ANN DUM
1 Ayr United (Q) 4 4 0 0 0 15 3 +12 12 Qualification for the Second Round 1–0 5–1
2 Kilmarnock (X) 4 3 0 0 1 9 3 +6 9 Possible Second Round 4–2 3–0
3 Clyde 4 2 0 0 2 7 11 −4 6 2–1 2–1
4 Annan Athletic 4 0 1 0 3 2 10 −8 2 1–6 0–2
5 Dumbarton 4 0 0 1 3 2 8 −6 1 1–3 0–0p
Source: [16]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[17]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

Group F[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification MOT GMO QPA EDC BER
1 Motherwell (Q) 4 4 0 0 0 12 2 +10 12 Qualification for the Second Round 4–0 1–0
2 Greenock Morton (X) 4 2 1 0 1 8 6 +2 8 Possible Second Round p2–2 5–0
3 Queen's Park 4 2 0 1 1 9 9 0 7 1–5 3–0
4 Edinburgh City 4 0 1 0 3 3 12 −9 2 1–2 p2–2
5 Berwick Rangers 4 0 0 1 3 4 7 −3 1 0–1 2–3
Source: [18]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[19]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

Group G[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification HAM ALB QOS EKI STE
1 Hamilton Academical (Q) 4 2 1 1 0 10 6 +4 9 Qualification for the Second Round p1–1 3–0
2 Albion Rovers (X) 4 1 1 2 0 12 9 +3 7 Possible Second Round p4–4 1–1p
3 Queen of the South 4 1 1 2 0 6 4 +2 7 p2–2 0–0p
4 East Kilbride 4 1 1 0 2 5 9 −4 5 1–3 2–5
5 Stenhousemuir 4 0 1 0 3 3 9 −6 2 1–3 1–2
Source: [20]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[21]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

Group H[edit]

Pos Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification LIV PAR STM AIR STR
1 Livingston (Q) 4 3 1 0 0 8 3 +5 11 Qualification for the Second Round p1–1 2–0
2 Partick Thistle (X) 4 3 0 1 0 9 2 +7 10 Possible Second Round 5–0 1–0
3 St Mirren 4 2 0 0 2 9 7 +2 6 0–1 5–0
4 Airdrieonians 4 1 0 0 3 4 10 −6 3 1–2 3–1
5 Stranraer 4 0 0 0 4 4 12 −8 0 2–4 1–4
Source: [22]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[23]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Advances to Best runners-up.

Best runners-up[edit]

Pos Grp Team Pld W PW PL L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 D Ross County (Q) 4 2 2 0 0 8 0 +8 10 Qualification for the Second Round
2 H Partick Thistle (Q) 4 3 0 1 0 9 2 +7 10
3 C Dundee (Q) 4 3 0 1 0 8 2 +6 10
4 E Kilmarnock (Q) 4 3 0 0 1 9 3 +6 9
5 B Peterhead 4 3 0 0 1 7 6 +1 9
6 F Greenock Morton 4 2 1 0 1 8 6 +2 8
7 A Inverness CT 4 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 8
8 G Albion Rovers 4 1 1 2 0 12 9 +3 7
Source: [24]
Rules for classification: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored, 3) away goals scored, 4) matches won, 5) away matches won, 6) drawing of lots.[25]
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated.

Knockout phase[edit]

Second round[edit]

Draw and seeding[edit]

The following teams qualified and competed in the second round of the 2017–18 Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen, Celtic, Rangers and St Johnstone entered the competition at this stage, after receiving a bye for the group stage due to their participation in UEFA club competitions.

The draw for the second round took place at Dens Park following the conclusion of the Dundee derby on 30 July, and was shown live on BT Sport's Facebook page & BT Sport 1. The four UEFA-qualifying clubs and the four group winners with the best record were seeded for the draw.[26]

Teams in Bold advanced to the quarter-finals.

Seeded Unseeded

Matches[edit]

All times are BST (UTC+1).

Quarter-finals[edit]

Draw[edit]

The quarter-final draw took place at Dens Park following the conclusion of the DundeeDundee United match on 9 August, and was shown live on BT Sport 1 & the BT Sport Facebook page. The draw was unseeded and ties were scheduled for the midweek of 19-21 September.[27]

Teams in Bold advanced to the semi-finals.

Premiership Championship

Matches[edit]

Semi-finals[edit]

Draw[edit]

The semi-final draw took place at Fir Park following the conclusion of the MotherwellAberdeen match on 21 September, and was shown live on BT Sport 1. The draw was unseeded and ties were scheduled for the weekend of 21/22 October.[28]

Teams in Bold progressed to the final.

Premiership

Matches[edit]

Final[edit]

Motherwell 0−2 Celtic
Report Forrest Goal 49'
Dembélé Goal 60' (pen.)
Attendance: 49,483
Referee: Craig Thomson

Top goalscorers[edit]

There were 324 goals scored in 95 matches in the competition, for an average of 3.41 goals per match.

As of matches played on 26 November 2017[1]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 Scotland Simon Murray Hibernian 8
2 Scotland Alan Trouten Albion Rovers 7
3 England Louis Moult Motherwell 6
4 Tunisia Sofien Moussa Dundee 5
5 Scotland Nicky Clark Dunfermline Athletic 4
Scotland Sean Winter East Kilbride
Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty Heart of Midlothian
Republic of Ireland Anthony Stokes Hibernian
Scotland Chris Cadden Motherwell
Scotland Stephen Dobbie Queen of the South
Scotland Lewis Vaughan Raith Rovers
England Craig Curran Ross County

Media coverage[edit]

The domestic broadcasting rights for the competition were held exclusively by BT Sport. Prior to the re-format in the 2015–16 season, BBC Scotland had exclusive rights.[5]

The following matches were broadcast live on UK television:

Round Date Match
Group Stage 14 July 2017 Ayr United v Kilmarnock[29]
15 July 2017 Queen's Park v Motherwell[29]
21 July 2017 Ross County v Hibernian[29]
22 July 2017 Partick Thistle v St Mirren[29]
29 July 2017 Heart of Midlothian v Dunfermline Athletic[29]
30 July 2017 Dundee v Dundee United[29]
Second Round 9 August 2017 Dundee v Dundee United[30]
Quarter-finals 19 September 2017 Partick Thistle v Rangers[31]
20 September 2017 Dundee v Celtic[31]
21 September 2017 Motherwell v Aberdeen[31]
Semi-finals 21 October 2017 Hibernian v Celtic[32]
22 October 2017 Rangers v Motherwell[32]
Final 26 November 2017 Celtic v Motherwell

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2017 Scottish League Cup scorers". ESPN. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  2. ^ English, Tom. "Scottish League Cup Final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Betfred Cup 2017/18 dates". SPFL. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Betfred Cup group stage draw date set". SPFL. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "New League Cup format and TV deal". SPFL. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Betfred Cup draw format & numbers". SPFL. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Betfred Cup seedings confirmed". SPFL. 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  21. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  23. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  24. ^ "Tables". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  25. ^ "Format". SPFL. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  26. ^ "Betfred Cup R2 draw on Sunday". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Betfred Cup QF draw on Wednesday". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 7 August 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  28. ^ "Betfred Cup semi-final draw tonight". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Betfred Cup group stage fixtures". SPFL. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  30. ^ "Betfred Cup last-16 ties confirmed". SPFL. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017. 
  31. ^ a b c "Betfred Cup QF dates & TV selections". SPFL. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Dates set for Betfred Cup semi-finals". SPFL. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 

External links[edit]