London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sun 12 Mar 2000 Rangers 4 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth Simon Buckland auth-> Hugh Dallas
[B Ferguson 12] ;[A Numan 17] ;[L Amoruso 69] ;[W Dodds pen 79]
1 of 001 Colin Cameron pen 35 SC A

Rangers 4 Hearts 1

By Simon Buckland, PA Sport

If Rangers go on to lift the Scottish Cup they will probably look back at tonight as the game they effectively won the trophy after Hearts offered them a severe test of nerve at Ibrox.

The final scoreline was convincing enough, but this was a match worthy of being the competition's final as Rangers were troubled for long periods by a Hearts team giving their all.

Ahead of the game, Rangers manager Dick Advocaat had cast doubt on his opposite number Jim Jefferies' negative tactics but that accusation could not be repeated afterwards.

Rangers were 2-0 ahead inside 17 minutes, through firstly a Barry Ferguson tap-in then an individual effort from Arthur Numan, but Hearts refused to accept their fate.

Their self-belief is the strongest of all the sides outside of the Old Firm and by half-time they had halved the deficit through Colin Cameron's 34th-minute penalty.

Hearts continued to press after the restart and with Rangers lacking their usual sharpness in front of goal the prospect of an unlikely replay looked to be looming.

Rangers skipper Lorenzo Amoruso had other ideas however netting on 69 minutes to calm matters and pave the way for a late flurry which saw substitute Billy Dodds score a penalty as Hearts faded.

With Tony Vidmar sidelined with a groin strain, Claudio Reyna moved back into the defence meaning the attack was supplemented by Seb Rozental's return to the fold.

It was the Chilean striker who had Rangers' first effort at goal, firing well wide from distance after two minutes, but the home team's next movement forward was more productive.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst's pass was missed by Fabien Leclercq allowing Rod Wallace a clear sight of goal, but instead of shooting he presented Ferguson with a tap-in.

It was only the Scotland international's second of the season and he could hardly have missed once the unselfish Wallace had played the ball into his path on 12 minutes.

A mere five minutes later and Rangers had doubled their tally courtesy of a fine individual strike by Numan as the Hearts defence was again found wanting.

Numan was allowed virtually a free run towards goal and the Dutch defender seized the opportunity cutting inside and slotting past Antti Niemi with a low right-foot shot.

Hearts protested after 20 minutes when after Lorenzo Amoruso lost control, Darren Jackson stole in and looked to have played the ball past the Italian before falling to the ground.

Former Celtic forward Jackson was furious as referee Hugh Dallas rejected claims it was a foul, much to Amoruso's relief as he was the last man and might have faced a red card.

Jackson lost his head momentarily and was instantly involved in a needless flare-up with Ferguson which saw both players booked as tempers reared out of control.

After 25 minutes, Jackson channelled his anger to send an angled drive wide, but there were few signs Hearts would be able to repeat their recent comeback at Parkhead.

On February 5, Hearts went 2-0 down to Celtic but recovered to win 3-2, yet by the half-hour it was Rangers who looked more like scoring again, Ferguson finding the side-netting with an effort.

However after 34 minutes the visitors were offered a lifeline when after good work by Gary Wales, Cameron weaved his way past Craig Moore and was tripped by the Australian.

Dallas had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Cameron, as against Rangers in the 1998 Scottish Cup final, made no mistake with the resulting penalty to defeat Stefan Klos.

Rangers poured forward before the interval and spurned a dream chance when Rozental's angled shot was spilled by Niemi only for the normally reliable Wallace to blaze over from close range.

The pace showed no sign of relenting after the break, the impressive Wales seeing a shot deflect just over via Moore's outstreched leg as Hearts sought to level.

Rangers remained a more tangible threat though and Niemi needed to be alert to push wide a superb curling strike by Rozental after Wallace had fed his strike partner on the edge of the area.

Wallace was again wasteful on 54 minutes as he dragged his shot badly wide after collecting the rebound when Jorg Albertz's fiered drive cannoned off Niemi's chest.

Still there were chances at both ends, Cameron curling a shot just over, then, in rapid response, Reyna's effort on the turn clutched to his right by former Rangers keeper Niemi.

Rangers needed a goal and it was their captain who steadied the ship on 69 minutes bundling in Van Bronckhorst's corner at the near post to extend his side's lead to 3-1.

That halted Hearts' charge, but the Tynecastle outfit could have reapplied the pressure had Robert Tomaschek done better than hit his shot over when played in by Gary Naysmith.

It was well and truly game over with 10 minutes remaining however as substitute Dodds converted a penalty he won himself after being upended by Thomas Flogel.

The Rangers players urged Albertz forward to take it, but after his miss in the 1-0 league win at Celtic in midweek he declined the invitation and Dodds duly beat Niemi.

There was still time for a stinging Cameron effort to be tipped over by Klos in the Rangers goal, but it would have been scant consolation for Hearts missing out on the semi-finals.


Rangers: Klos, Amoruso, Numan (Kanchelskis 61), Moore, Reyna (Wilson 70), Van Bronckhorst, Ferguson, Albertz, Wallace, McCann, Rozental (Dodds 75).

Booked: Ferguson, McCann.

Goals: Ferguson 12, Numan 17, Amoruso 69, Dodds 79 pen.

Hearts: Niemi, Pressley, Murray (McSwegan 74), Leclercq, Naysmith, Cameron, Simpson (Severin 81), Flogel, Tomaschek (Adam 81), Jackson, Wales.

Booked: Jackson.

Goals: Cameron 35 pen.

Att: 31,864

Ref: Hugh Dallas (Motherwell).

Taken from

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