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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pascali pops up to stun Rangers

Rangers saw their impressive away record come to an end after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Ally McCoist's men were aiming for their 15th consecutive league win on the road but Manuel Pascali grabbed the only goal late on to ensure the three points remained at Rugby Park.

The Light Blues' last visit to the Ayrshire venue saw them claim the SPL crown with a commanding 5-1 win on the last day of last season, but this result means they remain just four points ahead of Celtic in the title race.

Sone Aluk, making his Rangers debut after completing his move to Ibrox last week, was in the thick of the action immediately when he found Steven Davis in the box, who teed up the shot for Nikica Jelavic in front of goal but the Croatian connected awkwardly and Cammy Bell was able to gather.

Jelavic then saw another effort crash off the post but the offside flag was already raised before he unleashed the shot as Rangers continued to push forward in search of the opener.

Killie had a penalty claim ignored when Gary Harkins went to ground under pressure from Ross Perry and Kirk Broadfoot but referee Alan Muir was unimpressed.

Kilmarnock started the second half strongly and a Harkins effort trundled just past the upright and out of play after Steven Whittaker managed to get a block on the shot.

At the other end, Killie resorted to last-gasp defending when James Fowler hooked an Aluko drive off the line, before McGregor came to the rescue of Rangers with an excellent save after finding himself one-on-one with Racchi.

Aluko was again denied a goal on his maiden bow, this time by the woodwork when his shot squeezed through a congested goalmouth and struck the far post.

But he had an unwanted part to play when Kilmarnock opened the scoring with 10 minutes to go. A corner broke to Fowler and he punted into the path of Pascali who nodded into the back of the net, with Aluko coming off the line and playing the Italian onside.

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