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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February, 2004, 14:19 GMT
Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers
Frank de Boer spared Rangers' blushes with a late equaliser
Frank de Boer spared Rangers' blushes with a late equaliser
Frank de Boer's first goal for Rangers earned his team a point against Aberdeen in a game they looked like losing for much of the contest.

Zander Diamond put the home side in front inside two minutes when he bundled the ball over the line from close range.

Aberdeen went on to dominate large parts of the game but could not add to their tally.

With three minutes remaining, De Boer headed past the helpless David Preece.

Aberdeen got off to a dream start when they took the lead after only 70 seconds.

Maurice Ross conceded a free kick on the right and when Scott Morrison hoisted the ball into the box, after being missed by both Craig Moore and Michael Ball, it struck the thigh of Diamond and beat Stefan Klos.

That goal gave the Dons real belief and Paul Sheerin forced Klos to punch clear before the German pulled off a fantastic save to keep out Russell Anderson's point-blank header.

Emerson flashed a volley just wide at the other end, before Leigh Hinds did likewise with a curling effort for Aberdeen.

Midway through the first half, Hinds came even closer to extending Aberdeen's lead when he clipped the bar with an effort from 25 yards with Klos beaten.

Zander Diamond's goal had Aberdeen ahead for 85 minutes
Zander Diamond's goal had Aberdeen ahead for 85 minutes
The Rangers keeper was again called into action seven minutes before half time to smother a Marcus Heikkenen shot at the second attempt.

The first decent chance of the second half fell to Shota Arveladze wo took advantage of a misjudged clearance to create himself some space inside the Aberdeen box, but he dragged his shot wide.

Capucho passed up a glorious chance to equalise after 63 minutes when he got on the end of a Ross cross at the near post only to direct the ball wide of the post.

Minutes later, the same player squandered another opportunity when he knocked the ball weakly into David Preece's hands from close range.

Preece pushed away a long-range Paolo Vanoli effort as Rangers stepped up a gear in search of an equaliser.

But Aberdeen continued to threaten and Bryan Prunty almost scored with his first touch after replacing Scott Booth, but he pulled his shot across the face of goal.

Klos was forced to save from Kevin McNaughton and then Hinds, with the Rangers defence all at sea.

Aberdeen survived a penalty claim when Diamond handled under pressure from Hamed Namouchi and the Dons could have wrapped up the points with five minutes to go, but Prunty flicked the ball just off target after an impressive run.

As it was, Rangers drew level two minutes later when Frank de Boer met a Vanoli free kick at the front post to nod past Preece.

Aberdeen: Preece, McNaughton, Anderson, Diamond, Morrison, Clark, Heikkinen, Sheerin, Hinds, Zdrilic, Booth.

Subs: Esson, McGuire, Foster, Prunty, Muirhead.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Frank de Boer, Ball, Ricksen, Emerson, Ronald de Boer, Nerlinger, Capucho, Arveladze.

Subs: McGregor, Mols, Vanoli, Namouchi, Hutton.

Referee: W Young

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