Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Maurice Edu and Rangers avenged last month's loss Hearts with a clutch victory over the Jambos on Wednesday night at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.
Edu was slotted into the starting lineup by head coach Walter Smith and the Californian answered with a solid performance for 90 minutes.
The US international played in more of an attacking midfielding role alongside Steven David and Vladimir Weiss in Smith's 4-2-3-1.
The striker up top was Northern Irishman Kyle Lafferty who scored the game's lone goal just four minutes after the starting whistle.
Defender Stevie Whittaker lofted a cross into the Hearts penalty area that Lafferty volleyed home with authority.
Unfortunately for Rangers fans sixteen minutes later Lee McCulloch signaled to Smith that he could not continue due to injury paving the way for the newly signed El Hadji Diouf to make his debut for the Light Blues.
Still, the Rangers defense led by Algerian Madjid Bougherra held firm the rest of the first half.
With just about 30 minutes left in the match, Edu had his best chance at goal when Diouf played in a cross at the back post but the American's effort at goal was deflected away by the Hearts defense.
Smith's squad put the clamps down on the visitors the rest of the way to grab the vital three points and stay just five points behind their Old Firm rivals in the Scottish Premier League standings with two matches in hand.
Next up for Edu and company is the much-anticipated Scottish Cup fifth round matchup versus Celtic on Sunday.