Namouchi strike puts paid to Kilmarnock

Rangers 2 Kilmarnock 0
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The Independent Football

Hamed Namouchi came off the bench last night to score his first goal for Rangers and sealed their victory obver Kilmarnock at Ibrox Park.

Rangers made all the early running and bombarded the Killmarnock defence throughout the first half. Ronald de Boer saw a header deflected away after he had met a cross from the right from Nino Capucho, having set up the opportunity in the first place with a sublime backheader.

Emerson thumped a low long-range effort at Francois Dubourdeau in the Killie goal and the Frenchman made a competent save at his near post, with Capucho having delighted the home fans with a couple of shimmies to land defenders on their backsides before setting up the opening.

But Rangers' pressure always looked like telling and after David Lilley was booked in the 22nd minute for bringing Michael Ball down near the left corner fla, Rangers took the lead from the free-kick.

Fernando Ricksen fired it into the box at pace, Ronald de Boer got a flick on and Moore was there at the back post to prod home from close range, despite two Killie defenders being in close proximity.

Rangers refused to sit on their lead however, with Maurice Ross firing a hard shot at the end of a slick passing move the defender had started himself, with Emerson and Capucho also involved.

At the other end, Boyd saw a thumping long-ranger deflected wide for a corner that Stefan Klos was able to collect.

Rangers resumed normal service soon after and Ball sent a rising drive just over before Nerlinger was inches wide with a header from a Ross cross from the right.

Ross crossed again and, this time, the head of Mols was on the end of it but his effort was deflected away by a defender.

Half-time brought brief respite for Killie, but with neither side making any changes, Rangers started the second half just as they ended the first.

Capucho sent a high ball across goal that found no takers before Nerlinger fired wide following a powerful run forward.

However, Danny Invincibile was looking a more potent threat at the other end and he was able to test Klos with a low drive. But he quickly turned defender, a well-timed tackle from Invincibile prevented Ross from latching on to a Capucho ball and, after a sustained spell of pressure, Emerson forced Dubourdeau into a save with a low drive from just inside a crowded box.

But there was a let-off for the home side in the 63rd minute when a corner was only put into the path of taker Garry Hay, who then curled in a long-ranger that beat Klos and rebounded back off the crossbar.

Hay was booked in the 71st minute for a late challenge on Capucho that hurt the winger so much he had to be stretchered off, with Namouchi coming on. Namouchi made an instant impact by netting in the 75th minute when he latched on to a through-ball from Emerson, turned Hay and stroked the ball past Dubourdeau to wrap the game up for his side.

Ball might have made it 3-0 at the death but his drive was blocked by hapless team-mate Ostenstad.

Rangers (4-4-2): Klos; Ross, Moore, Frank de Boer, Ball; Ricksen, Emerson, Nerlinger, Capucho (Namouch 76); Ronald de Boer, Mols. Substitutes: McGregor (gk), Vanoli, Hutton.

Kilmarnock (4-4-2): Dubourdeau; Lilley, McLaughlin, Greer, Hay; Fowler, Dodds, Nish, Skora; Boyd, Invincibile. Substitutes not used: Meldrum (gk), Dindeleux, McDonald.

Referee: M McCurry.