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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 April, 2003, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Rangers beat brave Well
Rangers battled back to reach their 47th Scottish Cup final

Rangers 4-3 Motherwell

Scottish Cup holders Rangers will have a chance to defend the trophy at the end of the season, but Motherwell gave them a real fright in an entertaining semi final at Hampden Park.

In a thrilling first half Terry Butcher's callow side hustled Rangers out of their normally assured stride and after falling behind to an early Bert Konterman strike, Well hit back with goals from David Craig and James McFadden.

However, Rangers showed resolve to battle their way back and restored their lead before the hour, thanks to goals from Michael Mols and Lorenzo Amoruso.

An own goal from David Partridge followed but Rangers could not rest easy and the Premier League's bottom side struck again in the final seconds through Derek Adams.

Motherwell had not conceded a goal on the road to Hampden but it took Rangers less than two minutes to breach their defence.

Konterman latched on to cleverly weighted pass from Barry Ferguson and blasted the ball past Francois Dubordeau from just outside the area.

It was a fierce shot but the French goalkeeper will have been disappointed to allow the ball to whistle through his fingers.

Motherwell hit back with purpose and a sustained period of pressure saw Stephen Pearson, McFadden and Adams all engineer decent chances but were thwarted by some frantic Rangers defending.

But in the 15th minute the underdogs netted a well-worked equaliser when a poor clearance from Amoruso was seized upon by Martyn Corrigan, who drove at the Rangers rearguard before slipping a pass to David Clarkson.

The teenager squared across the penalty box from the right for Craig to convert from close range.

Motherwell continued to press forward with zeal and in the 27th minute a wonderful goal from McFadden put his side in the lead.

James McFadden struck to give Motherwell a half time lead

Another neat build up culminated with Pearson nipping in ahead of Amoruso to prod the ball into the path of his team-mate, who curled the ball into the top corner from a wide angle.

Rangers were looking ragged as Motherwell zipped the ball around with confidence and a Tony Vaughan shot from 20 yards grazed the side-netting before Clarkson sliced a volley wide from 10 yards with the goal a this mercy.

Minutes before the break Mols scorned a wonderful chance to draw Rangers level when he rounded Dubordeau but the striker was knocked off balance by the keeper's challenge and hit his shot wide of the empty goal.

Rangers started the second half in determined fashion and Ferguson rattled the Motherwell crossbar with a swerving shot from 20 yards.

Pearson headed over the Rangers crossbar from a good position but the Ibrox side were looking more threatening as the game progressed.

In the 56th minute Mols equalised with a crisply taken shot after a pass from half time substitute Steven Thompson allowed the Dutchman to gallop into the penalty area.

And three minutes later Rangers went in front when Amoruso was allowed to rise unchallenged and head home a free kick from McCann.

Motherwell legs grew weary as Rangers gained control of the midfield and large gaps were appearing as the game was stretched.

With 73 minutes gone Well fell further behind when Partridge headed into his own goal when trying to divert Thompson's flashing cross.

Motherwell refused to throw in the towel and in the dying seconds Adams hooked the ball into the net from close range.

Rangers: Klos, Muscat, Moore (Malcolm 76), Amoruso, Numan, Ricksen (Hughes 79), Konterman, Ferguson, Arveladze (Thompson 45), Mols, McCann.
Subs Not Used: McGregor, McLean.

Booked: Moore, Mols.

Motherwell: Dubourdeau, Corrigan, Vaughan, Partridge, Hammell (Cowan 75), Adams, Leitch (Lehmann 86), Pearson, McFadden, Clarkson, Craig (Offiong 68).
Subs Not Used: Woods, Lasley.

Booked: Vaughan, Adams, McFadden, Pearson, Offiong.

Attendance: 29,352
Referee: M McCurry

BBC Five Live's Roddy Forsyth
"An extraordinary Scottish Cup semi-final"

Rangers boss Alex McLeish
"I thought we showed some great spirit and character"

Man of the match Stephen Pearson
"It is absolute dejection"



Praise all round at Hampden
19 Apr 03  |  Other Scottish

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