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Rangers clinch cup double consolation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 May 2008

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Rangers lifted the Scottish Cup with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Queen of the South on Saturday to conclude an eventful season on a high.

Only two days after failing to prevent Old Firm rivals Celtic winning their third consecutive Scottish Premier League title, the Ibrox side secured their second trophy of the campaign by beating the plucky First Division side.

Kris Boyd scored the winning goal, to complete a brace, after his opener and a DaMarcus Beasley strike had been cancelled out by Steve Tosh and Jim Thomson at the start of the second half.

The victory meant Rangers completed a cup double – after winning the Scottish League Cup in March.

And it allowed the Ibrox club's supporters something tangible to cheer after their quadruple dreams were quashed by Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup on May 14 and Celtic's SPL success.

But they were pushed all the way by the Dumfries team, who contributed much to an exciting finale to the Scottish season.

The First Division team had already demonstrated they were unfazed by facing Premier League sides, after their 4-3 victory over Aberdeen in the semi-final, and forced the first corner of the match in the ninth minute.

Ryan McCann swung the ball in and Rangers' Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar had to make a last ditch block to prevent Sean O'Connor putting Queens ahead.

Rangers were clearly still struggling to come to terms with failing to lift the league crown on Thursday and it took until the 23rd minute to register their first effort on goal.

Kevin Thomson's first-time effort from 35 yards, however, failed to trouble Queen of the South goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

A minute later Beasley should have put Rangers ahead when Boyd's pass played him in on goal but the US winger shot over from 16 yards.

The Ibrox side were finally beginning to live up to their favourites tag.

In the 27th minute Boyd stooped to connect with Beasley's cross and send a header just over.

After this period of pressure there was no surprise when Rangers finally opened the scoring in the 33rd minute.

Captain Barry Ferguson rolled a free-kick back to Boyd, standing 25 yards from goal, and the striker unleashed an unstoppable right-foot shot into the top corner of the net.

And in the 43rd minute the game looked as good as over when the Ibrox side doubled their lead.

Beasley's corner to the back post was headed back across goal by Cuellar, and when two Queens' defenders collided going for the same ball, Beasley gratefully fired home from 12 yards.

The final appeared to be over but to their enormous credit the Dumfries side refused to concede defeat.

In the 50th minute Queen of the South halved the deficit.

Sean O'Connor forced his way down the right wing to the touch line and his driven cross was chested into the net from close range by Tosh.

Rangers were stunned by the goal and amazingly they lost another one only three minutes later.

Robert Harris lofted a high ball into the box from a free-kick on the touchline and Queen of the South's captain Thomson leapt highest to send a looping header over Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander and into the net.

One of the biggest shocks in Scottish Cup history looked to be on the cards but in the 72nd minute Rangers regained the lead.

Beasley flighted in a corner and Boyd met the ball six yards from goal to send a powerful header beyond MacDonald into the roof of the net, ensuring the Scottish Cup trophy would be heading across the city to Ibrox.

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