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Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 20:07 GMT
Rangers preserve double dream

Barry Ferguson scored early on but Rangers did not kill the quarter-final off until the 70th minute
Scottish Cup quarter-final
Rangers 4-1 Hearts

Rangers shook off a tricky challenge from Hearts to move into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and keep their double dream alive.

Semi-final draw
Hibernian v Aberdeen
April 8
Ayr v Rangers
April 9


The Premiership leaders were again fortunate in the draw for the semi-final as they avoided Premier League sides Hibernian and Aberdeen and instead play First Division minnows Ayr United.

Rangers found the net through Barry Ferguson, Arthur Numan, Lorenzo Amoruso and Billy Dodds but were never comfortable until their scrambled third goal twenty minutes from time.

The Glasgow side were cruising after racing into an early 2-0 lead after just 17 minutes.

However the plucky Edinburgh side kept their heads high and were rewarded when a late, scything tackle from Craig Moore on Colin Cameron brought them a penalty.

Match facts
12 mins: Ferguson taps in Rangers first
17 mins: Numan's drives in the second after a fine solo run
33 mins: Cameron pulls one back from the spot
70 mins: Amoruso claims the third
79 mins: Dodds wins and converts a penalty: 4-1
Cameron got to his feet to despatch the kick and make it 2-1 on the half hour mark.

And so it stayed for nearly 40 minutes as Hearts withstood a flurry of Rangers attacks, although mounting little of note themselves.

Rod Wallace, who set up Barry Ferguson's simple opening goal with an unselfish cut-back, blazed wide when Niemi could only parry a Jorg Albertz drive.

And Albertz gave his side another chance to kill the tie off with a delightful through ball but Ferguson miscontrolled it and then switched shooting feet once too often.

The crucial blow, when it came, was a poor one to fall to.


Murray challenges Rangers' midfielder Rozenthal
Hearts failed to defend a 70th minute corner and the seemingly ball rebounded off two defenders onto the chest of Amoruso and back into the net, although the final touch was in dispute.

That was the 90th goal scored by a man in a Rangers shirt this season - exactly twice the number scored by Hearts.

Had late efforts from Tomaschek and Cameron found the net, Rangers might have been made to pay for their occasionally lethargic defending.

Instead substitute Billy Dodds won a 79th minute penalty, felled from behind by Thomas Flogel as he held up an Albertz pass, and converted it to kill off the tie.

Teams:

Rangers: Klos, Amoruso, Numan, Moore, Reyna, Van Bronckhorst, Ferguson, Albertz, Wallace, McCann, Rozental.
Subs: Dodds, Wilson, Kanchelskis.

Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Murray, Leclercq, Naysmith, Cameron, Simpson, Flogel, Tomaschek, Jackson, Wales.
Subs: McSwegan, Adam, Severin.

Referee: Hugh Dallas (Motherwell)
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See also:

12 Mar 00 | Football
Dons squeeze out Tangerines again
11 Mar 00 | Scottish Premier
Viduka and Burchill banish Saints
08 Mar 00 | Scottish Premier
Rangers leave Celtic reeling
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Cameron on the spot
05 Mar 00 | Scottish Premier
Celtic blow it again
04 Mar 00 | Scottish Premier
Rangers dip down to earth
27 Feb 00 | Scottish Premier
Wallace inspires Rangers rout
Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.