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 Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 21:54 GMT
Old Firm rivals kept apart
Craig Brewster brings down Rangers' Fernando Ricksen
Dunfermline's Brewster brings down Rangers' Ricksen
Dunfermline 0-1 Rangers

Holders Rangers squeezed into the last four of the CIS Insurance Cup after a tougher than expected night away at Dunfermline.

The hosts booked a last-four berth through Claudio Caniggia and could meet Celtic in the final after the Glasgow rivals were drawn apart in the semi-finals.

Rangers have been paired with the winners of the quarter-final between Aberdeen and Hearts, while Celtic will face either Livingston or Dundee United in the other match.

Last time they were at East End Park Rangers cruised to a 6-0 victory, but the Glasgow aristocrats never looked like repeating the feat on Thursday.

Rangers Mikel Arteta (right) holds off Dunfermline's Gary Dempsey
Rangers Arteta (right) holds off Gary Dempsey

The first hour saw little threat from either side and when the chances came it was the Pars who looked most likely to score.

In a five-minute period they saw two good shots blocked and had a penalty appeal turned down, and Rangers took full advantage.

The veteran Argentine Caniggia had only been on for eight minutes when he scored the winner.

He got up at a free-kick to send a vital header through the despairing grasp of Marco Ruitenbeek after 76 minutes.

The hosts started in spiky mood with both Craig Brewster and Gary Dempsey booked for fouls on Fernando Ricksen inside the first quarter-of-an-hour.

Brewster's second contribution was more constructive as he teed up strike partner Stevie Crawford to drive the ball into Stefan Klos' arms.

It was never going to be like the last game. We said before the game it would be very difficult and we needed to just get in the hat

Rangers boss
Alex McLeish

Rangers finally threatened when playmaker Mikel Arteta sent Michael Mols through and the Dutch striker drew a good save from Ruitenbeek at his near post.

In their SPL encounter earlier this season Rangers carved the hosts' defence apart at will but, with both sides playing 3-5-2 formations, they were finding it much harder going this time round.

The closest they came to a goal was when Mols laid the ball back to Arteta and his curling drive was tipped round a post by Ruitenbeek at full-stretch.

Dunfermline came up with the first effort of the second half as Dempsey spooned the ball wide but chances remained hard to come by.

Barry Nicholson saw his deflected shot saved by the tumbling Klos before Murphy drilled a low free-kick into the keeper's arms just after the hour.

Klos made a tremendous save from Stevie Crawford and I thought it was a stonewall penalty. We didn't get the breaks and we lost

Dunfermline boss
Jimmy Calderwood

Rangers brought on Shota Arveladze and he combined beautifully with Barry Ferguson to set up the midfielder, but the Scot's finish was weak and Ruitenbeek saved easily.

Rangers then brought on Caniggia to pep up their attack but almost immediately Dunfermline came alive and twice went desperately close to taking the lead.

First Nicholson saw his shot blocked by team-mate Brewster after good work down the right by Dair, before Klos pulled off a stunning save to deny Crawford.

The Pars then had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Arthur Numan bundled over Crawford and Dempsey shot over as Rangers were forced onto the back foot.

It looked as though the holders might be on their way out.

But Rangers always had class to call on and it was the Caniggia who got across his man to power home a header from a free-kick on 76 minutes.

Lee Bullen steered a similar effort wide two minutes later and Dunfermline continued to push forward, but it was Rangers who went through to the last four.

Dunfermline: Ruitenbeek, Skerla, Scott Wilson, Bullen, MacPherson, Nicholson, Mason, Dempsey, Dair, Crawford, Brewster.
Subs: Stillie, Karnebeek, Hampshire, Walker, Kilgannon.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Malcolm, Konterman, Numan, Ricksen, Hughes, Ferguson, Arteta, Mols, Lovenkrands.
Subs: Caniggia, Muscat, Latapy, McGregor, Arveladze.

Referee: D McDonald (Scotland)

 BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"Dunfermline will feel aggrieved not to have drawn"
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