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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 21:40 GMT
Rangers cruise past Saints
Chris Burke celebrates opening the scoring
Chris Burke celebrates opening the scoring
Rangers 3-0 St Johnstone

Rangers cruised into the semi-finals of the CIS Insurance Cup with a comfortable win over their First Division opponents.

Chris Burke opened the scoring, after being given his first start by Alex McLeish, with a superb goal at the end of a mazy run.

Egil Ostenstad added a second just before the hour-mark and Michael Mols completed the scoring shortly before full time.

The home side never looked trouble by Billy Stark's side and could have added further goals.

Burke wasted little time in proving his manager right in naming him in the starting line-up with a stunning 16th-minute goal.

Receiving the ball at his feet in the middle of the Saints half, he ran straight for goal and, having left challengers trailing, chipped goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert to give Rangers the lead.

He almost doubled his tally 10 minutes later, when he twisted past defenders on the right of the box before unleashing a shot across goal that just cleared the far post.

Emerson showed early keenness to impress his doubters with a shot on the turn that went wide and a volley at full stretch, which cleared the crossbar.

The much-maligned Ostenstad then forced Cuthbert into a fine tip-over with a rasping long-range drive, and the keeper then dealt well with a Paolo Vanoli effort.

Rangers doubled their lead a minute before the hour mark when Ostenstad met a Vanoli cross from the left with a header that gave Cuthbert no chance.

Saints eventually replied with a shot of their own but Brian McLaughlin's 65th minute effort trickled wide of Allan McGregor's left-hand post.

The visitors were denied a goal by a fine reflex stop from McGregor after McLaughlin had picked out the head of former Rangers reserve Peter MacDonald from a free-kick.

Substitute Nuno Capucho sent headers wide of both posts before, with five minutes remaining, Burke was awarded an ovation from the home fans when he was replaced by Maurice Ross.

MacDonald was again denied by McGregor after he had headed a Paul Bernard cross goalwards.

In the closing moments, Stephen Hughes made a powerful run into the box before finding Mols, who slotted home on the turn.

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