Sunday, May 9, 2010
A late comeback by Motherwell did little to dampen the spirits at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on Sunday as Maurice Edu and Rangers were awarded the league trophy in their season finale.

Edu started in the Rangers midfield and went the first 72 minutes before yielding his spot to Kevin Thomson.

Fellow American DaMarcus Beasley was left off the gameday roster.

The omission of Beasley from the list of 18 means the American winger will not earn a winner's medal.

Beasley appeared in only nine matches on the Scottish Premier League season and failed to meet the requisite number of ten appearances to receive the silverware.

Rangers opened the scoring in the 17th minute when SPL leading scorer Kris Boyd notched his 26th goal of the season by willing himself past Motherwell defender Steven Saunders and slotting a shot home.

Red hot Northern Ireland man Kyle Lafferty doubled the margin in the 40th minute when he was able to poke Steven Naismith's cross into the Motherwell net.

But the Steelmen showed they had plenty of fight in them and they would halve the lead just five minutes after the halftime break.

Jamie Murphy had enough time and space from just outside the area and fired a shot that flew past reserve goalkeeper Neil Alexander.

Lafferty restored the two goal advantage in the 70th minute to score his fifth goal in seven matches.

The lanky striker was the beneficiary of a run by midfielder Nacho Novo whose effort sailed wide but found the mullet-wearing forward alone at the far post for the easy tap-in.

Despite the late two goal deficit, Motherwell was undeterred and had plenty of confidence that a comeback could be in the works considering they had come back to score four second half goals to draw with Hibernian last Wednesday.

The Europa League aspirants mounted their charge in second half stoppage time as Steven Jennings took advantage of a David Weir error and slipped a shot past Alexander.

Less than a minute later, the visitors equalized when Murphy was brought down by Allan McGregor's backup and Lukas Jutkiewicz converted the penalty kick.

In the end though, it was too little too late for Motherwell who just missed out on the final Europa League berth while Rangers and the rest of the Ibrox faithful toasted to the club's 53rd SPL championship and entry into next year's UEFA Champions League.

Both Edu and Beasley are now likely to be called to the US national team pre-World Cup roster selection camp in Princeton, New Jersey in just over a week.