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Olympics2000



BBC Scotland's Roddy Forsyth
"Rangers cruised in the end"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Rangers book Champions League spot
Rod Wallace and Andrei Kanchelskis celebrate
Rod Wallace scored one of the Rangers goals
A healthy crowd of 34,141 watched Rangers secure a place in the Champions League group stages in a fairly lacklustre match.

Rangers played nowhere near their best against a stuffy but unimpressive Herfolge side.

Rangers' goals came courtesy of a second-half Rod Wallace header and two late strikes by Allan Johnston and Andrei Kanchelskis.

A six-nil aggregate win though, cannot disguise the fact that Rangers will have to improve if they are to make any impression in this year's competition.

Clattering

Herfolge manager John Jensen had instructed his players to be more physical, and on the evidence of the opening five minutes, they had obviously taken his words to heart.

A series of clattering challenges went flying in as Rangers pressed for the goal which would kill this tie completely.

Rangers appeared in no mood to be intimidated however, as they forced three corners in the first ten minutes.

Their first real scoring opportunity came after Billy Dodds was fouled from behind 25 yards from goal.

But with a home support willing Jorg Albertz to try his luck, Lorenzo Amoruso fired a right-foot shot high and wide of the target.

Halted

After 20 minutes, the visitors were still to venture into the Rangers' penalty area, and although the home side had not seriously threatened Jakub Mikkelsen in Herfolge goal, they were clearly on top.

Midway through the first half, Herfolge put together their most positive move of the match, a series of passes down the right allowed Jesper Jakobsen to turn in the box but his powerful cutback was just too strong for his team-mates to be able to capitalise.

Rangers should have scored when Fernando Ricksen broke free on the right a few minutes later.

His cross just evaded the on-rushing Rod Wallace and when the ball fell to Neil McCann, he was unable to turn the ball into the net.

A great run by Giovanni van Bronckhorst was halted when he was brought down 22 yards out - this time it was Albertz who took the free kick but his effort was blocked bravely by the wall and Amoruso's follow up went well wide.

Rangers began the second off with Kanchelskis on in place of Fernando Ricksen as they sought to open up the Herfolge defence.

Three minutes into the second period, Rangers did what they had failed to do in the opening 45 minutes, beat Mikkelsen.

McCann sprinted down the left wing and when he crossed Wallace beat a rather uncertain Mikkelsen to the ball to head into the empty net.

An excellent three-man move on the hour mark involving Albertz, Amoruso and McCann almost brought about Rangers' second goal.

Amoruso's chip was chested down by McCann and when the winger laid the ball off to the feet of Albertz, the German dragged his shot just wide of the far post.

With 17 minutes remaining, Allan Johnston and Tony Vidmar replaced Billy Dodds and Albertz - the latter departing the field on a stretcher after another heavy challenge.

Rangers continued to push forward and they added a second on 78 minutes.

Van Bronkhorst won a corner on the left and when it was swung in, Amoruso headed onto Johnston who hooked the ball left-footed into the net.

Reyna was the next to fall victim to the Dane's over-physical approach and when Amoruso complained to the referee about the treatment his team-mates were receiving he was booked.

The game threatened to boil over momentarily as van Bronkhorst handed out some retribution and was booked also.

Herfolge substitute Chris Hermansen almost pulled a goal back for the Danish champions with four minutes left, but he watched in frustration as his close-range effort came back off the post.

With a minute remaining Kanchelskis broke free down the right and as the keeper came out to challenge him the Russian lofted the ball over the keeper and into the net to give the scoreline a more convincing appearance.

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See also:

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