Football: Charbonnier out for the season

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The Independent Online
RANGERS' FRENCH international goalkeeper, Lionel Charbonnier, will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury sustained in his club's Uefa Cup triumph.

Tests have revealed Charbonnier tore a cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf during the second round triumph over Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday.

Charbonnier, who joined Rangers from French club Auxerre for pounds 1.2m in July, will undergo surgery and then face eight months on the sidelines.

"I am so disappointed by this," he said. "I came to Rangers to win things and now I can't. I knew as soon as it happened that the injury was bad."

The Real Madrid midfielder Christian Karembeu will be out of action for about two months after tearing ligaments in his right knee in training.

Karembeu will miss his side's remaining Champions' League games against Internazionale and Spartak Moscow, as well as the World Club Championship game in Tokyo on 1 December against Vasco de Gama of Brazil.

The French World Cup winner suffered the injury in a collision with team- mate Fer- nando Morientes in preparation for yesterday's First Division clash with Alaves.

ASEC Abidjan romped into the African Champions' Lea-gue final with a 3-0 away win over Young Africans of Tanzania yesterday and will meet Dynamos of Zimbabwe in next month's decider.

The win ensured ASEC, from the Ivory Coast, finished top of Group B ahead of Manning Rangers, the South African team who lost 2-1 to Raja Casablanca in Morocco yesterday.

Both ASEC and Rangers started the day equal on points but while ASEC cantered to an easy win in Dar-es-Salaam, Rangers squandered a halftime lead to fall out of contention. ASEC also led at half-time with an early goal from Tchiressoa Guel and added two more in the second half through Sidi Badra Aliou and substitute Baleguse Tagro.

Rangers needed to match the Ivorian club's performance in a more difficult away game in Casablanca and led at halftime through Kerryn Jordan.

However, after a tactical substitution early in the second half they lost momentum and allowed Raja to fight their way back and score twice.

On Saturday, Dynamos finished top of Group A despite losing 1-0 at home to Ghana's Hearts of Oak. Dynamos ended top of the standings on goal difference to become the first Zimbabwean team to reach the final of any African club competition. The Zimbabweans will host the first leg of the final early next month.