Rangers secure cup Double
Rangers recorded a 3-2 victory over Queen of the South at Hampden Park to secure the Scottish Cup.
By Peter Fraser
Last Updated: 24/05/08 10:41pm
Rangers recorded a dramatic 3-2 victory over Queen of the South at Hampden Park in the final of the Scottish Cup to secure a domestic knock-out Double.
Having seen their hopes of a historic quadruple shattered over recent weeks following a defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in the Uefa Cup final and a failure to wrestle the Scottish Premier League title away from Celtic, Rangers were fretting over a possible upset against First Division outfit Queen of the South.
And Rangers' fears almost became reality as first-half goals from Kris Boyd and DaMarcus Beasley were spectacularly cancelled out in a three-minute spell after the interval by Steve Tosh and Jim Thomson.
However, with just under 20 minutes of a gripping contest remaining, Boyd was the hero as he met a Beasley corner to nod the winner and allow Rangers to follow March's CIS Insurance Cup victory over Dundee United.
The opening exchanges had been scrappy in style, but on 33 minutes Boyd stylishly smashed in a 25-yard free-kick to give Rangers the lead and 10 minutes later Beasley added a second as he slotted in from close range after a Kevin Thomson corner.
However, Queen of the South emerged a different side after the interval as Tosh steered in an excellent Sean O'Connor cross on 50 minutes and Jim Thomson then climbed above the crowd three minutes later to convert a Robert Harris free-kick.
Rangers, though, recovered and in the 72nd minute Beasley delivered a precise corner and Boyd was in the right place to net his 25th goal of the season and deservedly secure the cup.
Queens looked the more dangerous team going forward early on, with Stephen Dobbie and O'Connor causing problems for the SPL runners-up. Tosh also tried his luck but his long-ranger was comfortably held by Neil Alexander in the Rangers goal.
At the other end, a long, low shot from Kevin Thomson flashed wide of Jamie MacDonald's left-hand post before Rangers really began to impose themselves on the match.
Boyd released Beasley into the box and he looked set to leave the net bulging only to rifle into the side-netting instead.
The roles were then reversed when Boyd met a Beasley cross eight yards out only to nod just over when it looked so much easier to score.
The breakthrough came after 32 minutes. Tosh gave away a free-kick for a foul on Beasley 25 yards out and Barry Ferguson played the ball short to Boyd to lash into the top right corner of the net.
Rangers doubled their advantage three minutes before the break when Carlos Cuellar's header was missed by Jim Thomson and Ryan McCann and broke kindly to Beasley to slide home from eight yards.
Just when Rangers must have thought their name was on the trophy, Gordon Chisholm's men pulled a goal back four minutes after the restart.
O'Connor skipped past Cuellar before cutting back into the path of Tosh to bundle home from the edge of the six-yard box and provide hope of a dramatic fightback.
That proved to be the case when the battling Dumfries club hauled themselves level with 53 minutes gone.
Boyd to rescue
A Sasa Papac foul on McCann proved costly when Robert Harris punted the resultant free-kick into the box and skipper Jim Thomson was on hand to direct a header past Alexander.
Rangers could have restored their lead when Jean-Claude Darcheville released Beasley and he laid off a pass to the feet of Ferguson but the skipper fired straight into the keeper's arms.
It was left to Boyd to come to the rescue and he rose above everyone else in the box to meet Beasley's corner and send a header looping over the Queens goalkeeper after 71 minutes.
The striker could have then added to his tally for the day but, this time, his header was held by MacDonald after Kevin Thomson had delivered a teasing ball from the right.
In the end, Boyd's brace proved to be just enough to allow Rangers to finish the season with a cup double.