Dundee 0
Rangers 1
Scottish Cup (Final)

0 - 1

Scottish Cup (Final)
Saturday, May 31st, 2003
Hampden Park
Attendance: 47,136
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Lorenzo Amoruso (66)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy
Dick Advocaat

Starting Eleven
12. Julian Speroni
16. Jonay Hernández
13. Zurab Khizanishvili
3. David Mackay
19. Lee Mair
2. Barry Smith
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
8. Gavin Rae
18. Mark Burchill
7. Fabian Caballero
25. Steve Lovell
Stefan Klos .1
Craig Moore .3
Lorenzo Amoruso .4
Arthur Numan .5
Fernando Ricksen .2
Robert Malcolm .12
Barry Ferguson .6
Ronald de Boer .14
Neil McCann .11
Shota Arveladze .24
Michael Mols .10

1. Jamie Langfield
26. Garry Brady
5. Beto Carranza
15. Steven Milne
17. Nacho Novo
Kevin Muscat .17
Maurice Ross .21
Steven Thompson .19

Nacho Novo for Mark Burchill (71)
Steven Milne for David Mackay (78)
Garry Brady for Gavin Rae (85)
Maurice Ross for Michael Mols (46)
Steven Thompson for Shota Arveladze (56)
Kevin Muscat for Arthur Numan (69)

Nacho Novo (86)
Shota Arveladze (43)
Craig Moore (60)
Neil McCann (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Kenny Clark (Referee)
Stewart Shearer & Andrew Seymour (Assistants)
John Rowbotham (Fourth Official)

Match Report

A brave, and at times, fine display by Jim Duffy's side wasn't quite enough to bring home the Tennents Scottish Cup. On a hot and sunny day when flair from either side was in short supply, the final was still an intriguing one with the lack of chances at either end down to fine defensive performances. Both sides central pairings were superb. Amoruso and Moore were outstanding for the Glasgow giants, whilst Zurab Khizanishvili and Lee Mair excelled in equal fashion for the 'Dee.

The outcome might have been totally different had Barry Smith's 25-yard half volley gone in via the post, rather than bouncing clear. It was a moment to relish for the magnificent Dundee support who roared their appreciation of a bright start for the Dees. There was more to come as Lovell raced through in nine minutes after Burchill had spun and slid a lovely ball behind the Rangers back line. However, Klos was out quickly to shut down the striker and the ball deflected off the keeper for a corner.

In the club's last Hampden final back in 1995, the Dens players had frozen in the spotlight, but there were no signs of nerves here as Dundee took the match to Rangers. Teams don't contest trebles without a goal threat of their own, and it was just a minute after Lovell's half chance when De Boer carved an opening for Arveladze. the Georgian fortunately slicing his shot well wide from the edge of the box. The champions were encouraged by that first effort and just two minutes later de Boer had a chance from McCann's deep cross, but his header was woefully off target.

In fourteen minutes Steve Lovell was penalised for a crunching tackle on Ricksen that Jim Duffy highlighted afterwards as a refereeing mistake. The striker had certainly got plenty of the ball before downing the Dutchman, but referee Kenny Clark ruled it was an infringement. From the free-kick it was Rangers turn to hit the woodwork, Mols' header from McCann's curler clipping the top of the bar.

The mid-period of the first half saw Rangers carve a couple of half chances. First, de Boer skipped past Khizanishvili to fire in a low shot which Speroni tipped round the post. Then Dave Mackay made a wonderful saving tackle to deny McCann as the winger tried to get on the end of a Ricksen cross.

In 33 minutes Barry Smith tried to emulate his earlier strike following a corner from the right, this time the Rangers defence got in a good block only for the ball to fall to Rae, who hit a screamer wide of the target. Five minute later Jonay Hernandez came to the rescue heading a McCann cross clear at the back post to deny the lurking Ricksen.

A minute later Amoruso was six feet high with a 30 yard free kick, sadly this was the best effort from a direct free kick in the match. A cup campaign which started with a wonderful Nemsadze free-kick goal brought chances for a repeat on the big stage as Rangers hauled down players who were surging toward their box on several occasions, Rae, Caballero and Nemsadze all winning free-kicks, but Klos wasn't once troubled from those dead ball opportunities.

Dundee had one more chance from open play as the half ended, a neat short comer move saw Caballero pick out Khizanishvili on the right flank, but Burchill was crowded out at the near post as the cross came in.

The second half again saw Dundee start brightly and only two excellent tackles from Moore denied Burchill and Lovell as they raced onto through balls as Rangers took time to settle to a re-arranged formation after Ross replaced Mols at the interval.

McLeish made another change ten minutes into the half, bringing on Thompson for Arveladze, but it was Dundee who continued to make more of their possession and a magnificent Amoruso tackle thwarted Caballero after Lovell had spurted past a couple of challenges and fed the Argentinean.

As in the first half though, Rangers began to get more of the ball though and McCann served up a warning with a flashing header over the bar after 64 minutes.

The Dundee support had out-shouted their opposite numbers for most of the match but the Rangers support were about to come to life as their team scored what was to prove the winning goal.

Ricksen's pass down the line found Thompson, but the striker failed to control and with the ball going harmlessly for a goal kick. Khizanishvili barged into him. The challenge was at worst clumsy, but one which would rarely be penalised in the circumstances. The punishment, though was severe with McCann's fine ball from the set piece finding the head of Amoruso, who made no mistake from eight yards. By this stage, the heat was beginning to take its toll on players of both sides at the end of a long season.

A couple of substitutions followed shortly afterwards Muscat replacing Numan and Jim Duffy throwing on Novo for Burchill.

Rae tried to chip Klos from thirty yards as Dundee broke in seventy one minutes, but the better option would have been to find Caballero who had made space on the right.

Novo had made a difference and he had Dundee's best opportunity of an equaliser in seventy four minutes, neat play found Hernandez in space on the left and his curling cross begged Novo to apply the finishing touch, but from just six-yards out he couldn't get enough purchase on the which ball spun wide off Muscat for a corner. It was an excellent opportunity and although Khizanishvili came close with a low drive seconds afterwards there was the awful feeling that a better chance wouldn't come along.

Steven Milne replaced Dave Mackay with twelve minutes from time and a minute later Steve Lovell fred over from 22-yards. Rangers were hanging on to an extent, and Novo and Rae cut down the right with the former sliding a ball across the face of the target only for it to be deflected back to the keeper.

Dundee's final substitution came with six minutes remaining and saw Garry Brady replace Rae who looked exhausted after putting in a power of work.

There was to be one more chance and again it was Novo who was involved. The Spaniard collected a Hemandez throw and with a wonderful first touch found space to feed the ball back into Milne's path, but the substitute's effort lacked sufficient power to beat Klos. Both teams looked exhausted as the referee indicated four minutes injury time, Rangers tried to shield the ball in the corners but without much success, Dundee though couldn't find a way through the Rangers central defence and the final whistle brought confirmation that the cup would be heading back to Ibrox rather than Dens.

Dundee's players were disconsolate. but they went to salute their support who raised the roof of Hampden one more time as they saluted their heroes. It had been a wonderful effort from a squad who just lacked enough of their usual flair when it mattered.

Rangers handled the flair players well, forcing Caballero to perform his tricks deeper and wider than he would have wanted and limiting Georgi Nemsadze to only a few moments of magic, and none of the telling variety.

The players had given their all though in a way that wouldn't have seemed possible in the days when they were considered all style and little substance. Fears of them freezing on the big occasion proved far from founded and they had matched a team who have won every domestic trophy possible since Alex McLeish took over at ibrox.

Injury prevented Claudio Caniggia facing his former team, but showed a lovely touch by making a point of consoling each Dundee player as they trudged off the park. It was exactly what we'd expect from a person who'll always be adored by the Dens public and staff.

Dundee and their fans travelled home beaten, but heads held high. Beaten, yes, but rightly proud of themselves. It surely won't be thirty nine years till they again contest a Scottish Cup final.

Match report written by Dundee Matchday Programme

Squad Statistics (as at May 31st, 2003)

2002-03 All Time
Julian Speroni (GK)24 46 - 67 -
Jonay Hernández24 371371
Zurab Khizanishvili21 25 - 51 -
David Mackay22 431612
Lee Mair22 341341
Barry Smith29 4313102
Giorgi Nemsadze31 312835
Gavin Rae25 43522723
Mark Burchill22 153153
Fabian Caballero25 4299825
Steve Lovell22 35153515
Garry Brady (sub)26 331331
Nacho Novo (sub)24 439439
Steven Milne (sub)23 3369517

League Table (as at May 31st, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.