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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:50 GMT
De Boer has final say
Ronald de Boer stoops to put Rangers ahead
Ronald de Boer stoops to put Rangers ahead
Hearts 0-1 Rangers

A first-half goal from Ronald de Boer was enough to put Rangers into the CIS Insurance Cup final at the expense of Hearts.

Rangers dominated the first half but only had De Boer's goal to show for their superiority.

They failed to build on that in the second half but Hearts could not muster an equaliser and Rangers await the winner of Thursday's semi final between Celtic and Dundee United with interest.

Rangers' first chance came from a Barry Ferguson free kick after Mikel Arteta went down under a Steven Pressley challenge, but Tepi Moilanen saved and Michael Mols could only find the side-netting from the rebound.

A half-cleared Ferguson shot ended up at the far post where Mols was waiting, but, under pressure, he fired wide on the turn.

Mark de Vries and Lorenzo Amoruso tangle
Mark de Vries and Lorenzo Amoruso tangle
Hearts almost got a break when Mark de Vries robbed Arteta and it needed an intervention from Craig Moore to stop Gary Wales going through on goal.

The Hearts fans thought they had taken the lead when Jean-Louis Valois fired in a low free-kick that took a deflection before going narrowly past Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos' left-hand post.

But in the 27th minute, De Boer opened the scoring after Neil McCann's cross from the left found Fernando Ricksen, who headed the ball back across goal to allow his fellow Dutchman to nod the ball past Moilanen.

A nervy moment at the other end saw the ball almost fall for Wales in the six-yard box, but the ball just eluded him and the chance was gone.

Moilanen stopped further efforts from Mols and Ferguson before Amoruso made a mess of an attempted headed clearance at the other end only for Valois to fire straight at Klos, albeit acrobatically.

Jean-Louis Valois sends a free kick just wide
Jean-Louis Valois sends a free kick just wide
Rangers had a claim for a penalty turned down at the beginning of the second half, the referee deciding that if the ball had hit Mahe on the arm it had been unintentional.

Valois cut inside from the left but his shot flew across goal and wide.

Steven Pressley and Arteta clashed in the centre circle and, after a brief shoving match involving several players, both of the original offenders were booked.

Ricksen fired in a fierce drive that produced a fine save from Moilanen and McCann wasted the rebound.

Valois saw another promising effort end up going straight at Klos and that was Hearts' last chance.


Hearts: Moilanen, Maybury, Pressley, Webster, Mahe (Kirk 86), Stamp (McKenna 66), Severin, MacFarlane, Valois, de Vries, Wales.

Subs Not Used: McCann, Boyack, Gordon.

Booked: Stamp, Pressley.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Amoruso, Numan, Ricksen, Ferguson, Arteta, de Boer, Mols (Caniggia 73), McCann.

Subs Not Used: Malcolm, Bonnissel, Arveladze, McGregor.

Booked: Ricksen, Arteta.

Att: 31,609

Ref: Michael McCurry

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BBC Sport's Roddy Forsyth
"An extremely forgettable semi-final"
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