Football: Smith aware of gap in attack

Scottish round-up
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The Independent Online
Walter Smith can accurately claim to have gone to the ends of the earth in his search to find a striker, having flown to Chile over the weekend to pursue talks with Sebastian Rozental.

The 21-year-old, who plays for Universidad Catolica, has scored 31 goals in 29 games this season and is seen by the Scottish champions as the answer to the striking gap which has been vacant since the departure of Mark Hateley.

Rangers beat Celtic on Thursday without a recognised striker in their line-up and while they sit on top of the domestic league, the demands of European competition have proved too much for them this season. The need for a striker has been glaring.

However, their last attempt to sign a player from South America foundered on red tape as they were unable to obtain a work permit for Jardel, the Brazilian who is now with Porto. Rangers are hopeful that having British grandparents should obviate the need of a work permit for Rozental.

Hearts, who face Rangers in the Coca-Cola Cup final on Sunday, were unable to overcome a Hibs side reduced to 10 men in the Edinburgh derby on Saturday. John Hughes, the defender who was bought from Celtic , was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Stephane Paille in the 50th minute but Hibs reorganised to earn a point, thanks mainly to another fine performance from Jim Leighton who performed heroics for his country against Sweden last Sunday.

Third-placed Aberdeen required a last-minute goal by Billy Dodds, his 18th of the season, to rescue a point against a Dundee United side which has been rejuvenated under Tommy McLean.

Tommy Coyne underlined his value to Motherwell by scoring a hat-trick against Kilmarnock. The veteran former Celtic striker who has missed most of the last two seasons through injury, has been needed in the front line with his side having scored just twice in the last six games.

His goals would have been as welcome as the points which took Motherwell away from Kilmarnock after both had been level on points in second bottom place.

Below them, lie Raith Rovers side, six points adrift and with just one win this season. They contributed to their own downfall in the Fife derby, gifting two first-half goals to Dunfermline, before having Shaun Dennis, their centre-back, sent off on the stroke of half-time.

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