Rangers discover Madeira is no island paradise

Maritimo 1 Rangers 0
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The Independent Football

Italian striker Gustavo Manduca put the Rangers manager Alex McLeish under even more pressure in Madeira last night.

Rangers hit the woodwork twice and missed other good chances but Maritimo deserved the only goal of the game. The hosts had begun with much greater purpose and almost took the lead on 24 minutes. Luis Felipe found a shooting position on the right of the box but fired across goal and wide of the far post. Dado Prso headed just wide at the other end as he rose the highest to meet a Chris Burke free-kick.

A goal had to come sooner or later, and it was Maritimo who netted it in the 27th minute. Luis Felipe set up Leo Lima for a shot that Stefan Klos could only parry and Manduca was first to the loose ball to apply the finish.

Klos had to make a fine save seconds later to keep out a rising Leo Lima drive that was bound for his top left corner and the home side came close from the corner as well.

Maritimo goalkeeper Marcos denied Novo an equaliser with a fine block after Dragan Mladenovic had flicked on a Maurice Ross throw-in and from the corner Prso saw a header bounce off the base of the post.

Alan turned Maurice Ross inside out on the edge of the box but could only fire straight at Klos. At the other end it was Shota Arveladze's turn to head over.

Fernando Ricksen saw a free-kick take a deflection after Prso had been fouled 25 yards in front of goal but it landed straight in the keeper's hands.

There was a let-off for Rangers when Antonio Ferreira fired the ball across the box from the right to Tonel at the back post only for the defender to fluff his connection at the vital moment.

Novo was replaced by Peter Lovenkrands with seven minutes remaining but no chances came the Dane's way.

Second half goals from Andy Webster, Paul Hartley and Patrick Kisnorbo helped Hearts to a 3-1 home win over Braga of Portugal.

Maritimo (4-3-3): Marcos Oliveira, Ferreira, Tonel, Van der Gaag, Briguel, Leo Lima, Wenio, Luis Filipe, Manduca (Zumbi, 72), Chainho, Alan. Substitutes not used: Nelson, Zeca, Bino, Souza, Fernando, Joel Santos.

Rangers (4-3-3): Klos, Ross, Moore, Boumsong, Vignal (Vanoli, 57), Burke, Mladenovic, Ricksen, Arveladze, Prso, Novo (Lovenkrands, 84). Substitues not used: Graeme Smith, Hughes, Thompson, Khizanishvili, Malcolm.

Referee: Johan Verbist (Belgium)

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