Football: Huistra completes the transformation

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The Independent Online
Rangers. 2

Lyngby. .0

ALONE among Scotland's five European representatives, Rangers were expected to enjoy a relatively smooth passage in the European Cup, but, although they secured a useful lead over the Danish champions in the first leg of this first- round tie last night, their overall display was less than convincing.

The home side were given an example of the European style of play they are trying to emulate with Lyngby demonstrating a precise passing game.

In contrast, Scotland's champions too often resorted to the easy option of a high ball to Mark Hateley and before they had produced their first concerted attack Lyngby had shown enough skill and attacking flair to cause concern. Andy Goram, Rangers' goalkeeper, saved from Morten Weighorst within two minutes and 20 minutes later kept out a powerful Henrik Jurgensen header.

Rangers responded with their first piece of inventive play, David Robertson's reverse pass to Alexei Mikhailichenko resulting in a low cross which reached Ally McCoist at the far post but the striker could only glance his shot wide.

McCoist, who had been presented with the Adidas Golden Boot before the game for being Europe's leading goalscorer last season, then headed a Robertson cross over the bar after 33 minutes.

However, six minutes later Rangers took a lead their play had scarcely deserved to that point. Hateley dived to connect with a John Brown cross and although he received a kick in the face, the sight of the ball in the net would have alleviated his pain.

Hateley came close to adding a second on 52 minutes but, after beating the offside trap and rounding the keeper, his shot was stopped on the line by Henrik Risom.

By now Rangers had reverted to a passing game of their own and were creating openings. McCoist found the side net and a powerful shot from Ian Ferguson was well saved. It only required a goal to complete the transformation. That was duly delivered by Pieter Huistra in the 67th minute with a cute flick after a one-two with Hateley.

Rangers: Goram; Durrant, D Robertson, Gough, McPherson, Brown, Mikhailichenko, Ferguson, McCoist, Hateley, Huistra.

Lyngby: Brodersen; Larsen, Wieghorst, Gothenborg, Christiansen, Vilstrup (A Nielsen, 87), Risom, Ezeugo, Hammer, M Nielsen, Jurgensen (Olsen, 73).

Referee: J H Vilenberg (Neth).