Dundee United 2 Rangers 2 (Rangers win 3-2 on penalties): Boyd on target to end Rangers' trophy drought

Kris Boyd and Allan McGregor were the Rangers heroes last night as they played pivotal parts in winning the CIS Cup, ending a trophy drought at Ibrox that had lasted almost three years. Boyd has long been an enigma, making a truism of the oxymoron that he does nothing but score goals. But he netted in normal and extra time to drag Rangers back into a game they trailed 1-0 and 2-1 against opposition whose character and attitude deserved a draw at least, and then he scored the decisive spot-kick in a penalty shootout to secure the cup.

McGregor, who has grown in stature hugely this season with some match-winning performances, made two crucial saves in the shoot-out, including stopping United's fifth penalty, by their captain Lee Wilkie, to leave Boyd one kick to convert for glory.

The outcome for United, as their manager, Craig Levein, accurately described it afterwards, was "cruel". Not just because they had a "stonewall" penalty denied them when 1-0 up. It really did look a certainty, but the referee, Kenny Clark, somehow failed to notice Carlos Cuellar wrestling Christian Kalvenes to the floor in the box. It was also deeply upsetting for Levein that his men had been unable to hold on to gift the silverware to their club chairman and benefactor, Eddie Thompson. Thompson's terminal cancer has spread to his bones and brain but he still took his place in the stands to support his beloved United.

"I feel like I've been 50 rounds with Muhammad Ali," Levein said afterwards. "What a cruel way to lose. I want to be positive about the performance, but I feel so sick for everyone associated with the club. We played probably our best game of the season against a very good side. I'm so gutted."

Rangers won the cup, for a 25th time, to give them a 108th trophy in their history, but, crucially, the first since 2005. Their renaissance under Walter Smith has been a stirring story for supporters who hope this triumph marks the first page in a glorious new chapter. Rangers are also favourites this season for the SPL and the Scottish Cup and are in the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup.

"It was a terrific cup final and a terrific achievement," Smith said. "In the circumstances of playing this after a tiring game in Germany in the Uefa Cup on Thursday night, I'm delighted and it speaks volumes for my players." Smith was frank about Boyd's limitations. "There's more he needs to do with his all-round play," he said. "It's frustrating for me as a manager [that he needs to work harder]. It's frustrating for him, sitting on the bench." But Smith added: "If you get the ball in the box, he'll get goals."

If Smith learns anything from this win, it might be that for such an important occasion playing at least one recognised striker from the start might be a way to threaten a goal. But of his front men Boyd started on the bench, as did Jean-Claude Darcheville, while Nacho Novo was suspended, Steve Naismith cup-tied and Daniel Cousin injured.

Until Darcheville replaced the midfielder Brahim Hemdani at half-time, and Boyd arrived 15 minutes later, Rangers rarely threatened. United went ahead when Noel Hunt, already denied by one fine McGregor save, scrapped the ball across the line in a tussle with Steven Davis.

Cuellar manhandled Kalvenes eight minutes into the second half, a time when a second United goal might have broken Rangers. Boyd made it 1-1 after a long period of Rangers pressure following a sloppy, under-hit back pass by Mark Kerr during a mêlée in the area.

Mark De Vries put United back ahead early in extra time, and Boyd levelled again, with his head, from Davis' cross late on. So to penalties, silverware and tears all round.

Goals: Hunt (34) 1-0; Boyd (85) 1-1; De Vries (95) 2-1; Boyd (113) 2-2.

Rangers (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Papac (Boyd, 61); Dailly, Hemdani (Darcheville, h-t); Davis, Ferguson, Burke (Whittaker, 116); McCulloch. Substitutes not used: Alexander (gk), Thomson.

Dundee United (4-4-2): Zaluska; Kovacevic, Wilkie, Kenneth, Kalvenes; Buaben, Kerr, Flood, Gomis (Robertson, 97); De Vries, Hunt (Conway, 79). Substitutes not used: McLean (gk), Dods, Dillon.

Referee: K Clark.

Booked: Rangers Broadfoot, McCulloch. Dundee United Kalvenes.

Man of the match: Boyd.

Attendance: 50,019.

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker