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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Wednesday, 6 September, 2000, 23:36 GMT 00:36 UK
Rangers through after Dons scare
Celebrations after Giovanni van Bronckhorst's opener
Celebrations after Giovanni van Bronckhorst's opener
Rangers 4-2 Aberdeen

Under-pressure Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl praised his young bravehearts as they almost produced a CIS Insurance Cup upset away to Rangers.

The scoreline may look like a comprehensive home win, but Ronald de Boer's Ibrox debut was no pre-Champions League cake walk.

An inexperienced Aberdeen side came far closer than anyone might have expected to knocking the Scottish Premier League champions out of the CIS Insurance Cup - just as they had done last year, albeit in extra time on their own ground.

In the end it took late goals from Rod Wallace, Billy Dodds and captain Lorenzo Amoruso to brush aside Ebbe Skovdahl's battling side, who had bounced back from a Giovanni van Bronckhorst goal to take the lead through Robbie Winters and Derek Young.

Inexperienced side

It left Skovdahl predicting that his youngsters would be the new generation of Scottish internationalists.

Skovdahl, who had been forced by injuries and suspensions to field an inexperienced side for the third-round trip to Glasgow, said: "Altogether, I am pleased with the performance.

"I think there were five or six players who were 18 years old."

Controlled

In the end, he thought it was this inexperience that explained their failure to hold on to their lead.

His Rangers counterpart, Dick Advocaat, was not concerned with going behind and praised his whole team.

"You couldn't see at half-time that they would give us problems, because in the first half we controlled the game," he said.

"Aberdeen had a lot of men behind the ball, however, and over the 90 minutes we deserved the win."

Billy Dodds strikes the all-important third goal
Billy Dodds strikes the all-important third goal
It did not look so comfortable, however, when David Rowson crossed deep from the right and Winters arrived ahead of his marker to volley home the equaliser.

Derek Young then had the audacity to smash the ball past Stefan Klos from fully 25 yards.

It was totally unexpected after a first half dominated by the home side and by one Dutch internationalist in particular.

The man in question was not debutant De Boer, last week's 4.5m signing from Barcelona, but van Bronckhorst, whose passing ability far outshone that of his Dutch team-mate, who looked short of match practice and with a rusty first touch.

Spectacular goal

Van Bronckhorst who had scored a spectacular goal for Holland against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday, opened the scoring direct from a free-kick.

Fearing a hiding, Aberdeen defended in numbers and it seemed that the second half was to mirror the first as Rangers swapped Neil McCann for Allan Johnston, who within minutes had a goal-bound header stopped on the line by his own man, Wallace.

Then came the Aberdeen double whammy during a seven-minute spell shortly after the break and the 37,000 crowd soon made their displeasure vocal.

Much needed to be done and Barry Ferguson switched to defence to allow the Turk, Tugay, to come on to begin the inevitable final half-hour of pressure.

Creak fatally

Eventually, the Aberdeen backline did creak fatally, albeit in a most unexpected way.

The diminutive Wallace somehow rose the highest at the far post to head in Fernando Ricksen's cross to equalise after 74 minutes.

Dodds slid in to put the home side ahead once more with nine minutes remaining after a neat interchange by Tugay and Johnston, then Amoruso wrapped things up four minutes later direct from a free-kick.

Rangers: Klos, Ricksen, Wilson, Amoruso, Numan, Ferguson, de Boer, van Bronckhorst, McCann, Dodds, Wallace.

Subs: Kanchelskis, Tugay, Johnston, Vidmar, Charbonnier.

Aberdeen: Esson, McGuire, Whyte, Rowson, McNaughton, Guntveit, Belabed, D. Young, D. Young, Mackie, Winters.

Subs: Perry, McAllister, Clark, O'Donoghue, Preece.

Referee: Willie Young.

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05 Sep 00 |  Scotland
De Boer set for Rangers debut
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