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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
Rangers 2-0 Molde (agg: 2-0)
By Thomas McGuigan

Thomas Buffel celebrates scoring the opening goal for Rangers against Molde
Buffel scored Rangers' first goal on 12 minutes
Rangers returned to winning ways with a nervy win over Molde in the Uefa Cup.

Captain Barry Ferguson started brightly and the home side took the lead when Thomas Buffel swept home a Steven Smith cross after 12 minutes.

But Molde hit back and keeper Allan McGregor was in fine form to keep the Norwegians at bay.

Ferguson added the second on the stroke of half-time with a smart finish from a Kris Boyd pass to relieve the pressure on Paul Le Guen's men.

Rangers had the ball in the net after five minutes, when Boyd latched onto a through ball from Buffel, but the flag was already raised for offside.

Charlie Adam then tried his luck with a long-range effort which deflected wide of target.

At the other end, Marel Baldvinsson's shot at goal was inadvertently blocked by team-mate Stian Ohr.

But Rangers' early domination was rewarded after 12 minutes when they took the lead.

Smith raced down the left flank before squeezing the ball across the face of goal to the feet of Buffel, who swept home from inside the six-yard box.

Goalscorer Barry Ferguson celebrates with Philip Bardsley
Captain Barry Ferguson's goal put Rangers in the driving seat

The Norwegians had the first chance after the restart when Magne Hoseth burst through on goal only to see his point-blank effort blocked by McGregor, before Julien Rodriguez cleared the danger.

Ferguson was then dispossessed by Baldvinsson, whose shot was brilliantly saved by McGregor.

Rangers introduced Gavin Rae for the subdued Boyd as the home side looked content to see out time.

The first booking of the game came when Hestad was cautioned for a challenge on Sionko.

The Ibrox side could have killed the tie when Dado Prso collected an Adam pass and twisted and turned past two defenders before seeing his shot turned round the post by Molde goalkeeper Larsen.

Adam then forced the keeper into a wonderful save to tip his 25-yard thunderbolt over the crossbar.

Despite creating a number of half-chances Molde could not find a way past McGregor, who was voted man-of-the-match, much to the acclaim of the home fans.


Rangers: McGregor, Bardsley, Rodriguez, Hemdani, Smith, Sionko (N'Diaye 90), Ferguson, Adam, Buffel, Prso (Sebo 81), Kris Boyd (Rae 66). Subs not used: Robinson, Svensson, Hutton, Martin.

Goals: Buffel 12, Ferguson 45.

Molde: Larsen, Mavric, Andreasson (Gjerde 65), Kallio, Rindaroy, Ohr (Moster 70), Rudi, Berg Hestad, Grande (Konate 85), Baldvinsson, Hoseth. Subs Not Used: Lillebakk, Bakke, Mohamed, Diouf.

Booked: Berg Hestad.

Att: 48,024

Ref: Knut Kircher (Germany).



SEE ALSO
Le Guen 'relieved' after victory
28 Sep 06 |  Rangers


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