Football: Rangers destroy Hamilton

Hamilton Academical 0 Rangers 6
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The Independent Online
RANGERS DULY eased into the quarter-finals of the Tennents Scottish Cup yesterday by brushing aside the challenge of Hamilton from the First Division in a match which was as one-sided as many had expected.

These cup ties often become an illustration of the vast gulf that exists between the best and the rest in Scottish football.

Hamilton were facing Rangers for the fourth time in as many seasons but rarely in any of the ties did they look like creating a shock of the same proportions as their 1-0 victory at Ibrox 12 years ago.

Accies are no Fulham. While Kevin Keegan's side could travel to Old Trafford and give Manchester United an uncomfortable afternoon, the Lanarkshire club which is forced to share the home of Partick Thistle in Glasgow were incapable of rising to the challenge of a higher league and were realistically looking at damage limitation.

Their worst fears must have surfaced within five minutes as Rangers took the lead. A corner was flicked on by Jorg Albertz to Jonatan Johansson, whose close-range effort deceived the defender on the far post.

Despite the early goal, and even with four players committed to attack, Rangers opted for control of the game, measuring their passes and building patiently with the pace of Johansson and Rod Wallace largely neutralised by a deep-lying back five.

Albertz blasted a couple of efforts wide and on the stroke of half-time Rangers doubled their lead. Noel McCann collected the ball on the break and elected to go for goal himself but was brought down by John Hillcoat, the Hamilton goalkeeper. Albertz stroked the resultant penalty into the bottom corner.

Ten minutes into the second half Johansson saw his shot on the turn pushed wide by the goalkeeper, but the third goal was delayed for just a minute as Tony Vidmar headed unmarked into the net from a corner.

In a rare excursion forward, Ian McAulay found space to shoot for the Accies but his effort was well saved by Stefan Klos.

In the 65th minute, Rangers produced a fourth goal, when Andrei Kanchelskis played a one-two with Charlie Miller and slammed the ball into the back of his opponents' net from six yards.

In the 73rd minute Stephane Guivarc'h won a long ball from Kanchelskis and found Johansson, whose speed took him beyond the defence and gave him a simple task to score.

Two minutes later, McCann added a sixth goal for Rangers with a firm drive.

Hamilton Academicals (5-3-2): J Hillcoat; Renicks, Berry, C Hillcoat, Thomson, Cunnington; N Henderson, McAulay (McKenzie, 63), D Henderson (Clark, 68); McCormick, Wales. Substitute not used: Moore.

Rangers (4-2-4): Klos; Vidmar (Wilson, 81), Porrini, Amoruso, Van Bronckhorst; B Ferguson, Albertz (Miller, 61); Kanchelskis, Johansson, Wallace (Guivarc'h, 45), McCann. Substitute not used: Wilson.

Referee: M McCurry (Glasgow).

Bookings: None.

Man of the match: Johansson.

Attendance: 7,339.