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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 September, 2004, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Dundee 0-2 Rangers
Novo scored his first SPL goals for Rangers
Novo scored his first SPL goals for Rangers
Two goals in two minutes by substitute Nacho Novo gave Rangers victory over his former side Dundee at Dens Park.

Novo came off the bench to light up a game that looked to be heading for a goal-less draw.

His first came from only a couple of yards out after Chris Burke had headed Gregory Vignal's cross across goal.

Moments later, Burke beat Jonay Hernandez before laying the ball back, Stevie Thompson stepped over it and Novo swept the ball into the net.

The opening stages were cagey, with the blustery conditions playing havoc with any plans either side had to play decent football.

The ball was spending a lot of time in the air, but it was from a long Bob Malcolm pass that Rangers created the first chance for the opening goal after 13 minutes.

Burke latched onto the pass but he delayed his shot and Hernandez was able to make a goal-saving interception.

A powerful run by Thompson took him into the Dundee box, but when he squared the ball to Shota Arveladze, the Georgian's shot was blocked, as was his effort on the rebound and Fernando Ricksen's second follow-up.

Dundee's first shot at goal came from Iain Anderson after 24 minutes - the winger cutting inside before unleashing a low shot from the edge of the box that flew just wide.

The same player tested Stefan Klos with a similar effort three minutes later, but the German was equal to it.

Stephen Hughes crashed a shot narrowly wide after 32 minutes and moments later, Burke curled one beyond the far post.

Novo shows his solidarity with manager Alex McLeish
Novo shows his solidarity with manager Alex McLeish
Then Derek Soutar did well to get his body behind a thunderous drive by Malcolm before, at the other end, Klos saved from Glen Larsen.

A stray pass by Zura Khizanishvili landed at the feet of John Sutton, who released Larsen, and the Dane rifled a superb shot past Klos only to see it come off the outside of the post.

The opening period of the second half was unremarkable, with Rangers' attacks continually breaking down on the edge of the Dundee area.

Indeed, it was the home side who came close to scoring again when substitute Vignal allowed a cross to slip by him and from the tightest of angles, Neil Barrett hit the outside of the post.

Ricksen was denied a certain goal by a tremendous block by Barry Smith after 64 minutes but the deadlock was finally broken with 12 minutes left.

Seconds after his passback into the arms of Klos had gone unpenalised by referee Stuart Dougal, Burke headed Vignal's cross back across goal, leaving Novo with a tap-in.

Two minutes later, the Spaniard made it two when Burke cut the ball into his path and he buried it beyond Soutar.

Dundee: Soutar, McDonald, Sancho, Mann, Hernandez Santos, Barrett (Brady 85), Smith, Fotheringham, Anderson, Larsen, Sutton.

Subs Not Used: Jack, Hutchinson, McNally, Hegarty.

Booked: Smith.

Rangers: Klos, Khizanishvili, Boumsong, Andrews, Vanoli (Vignal 46), Burke, Malcolm, Ricksen, Hughes (Lovenkrands 58), Arveladze (Novo 66), Thompson.

Subs Not Used: Graeme Smith, McLean, Davidson, McCormack.

Booked: Khizanishvili.

Goals: Novo 78, 80.

Att: 9,404

Ref: S Dougal

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