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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 1, 2007

SPL: Rangers close in on leaders Celtic

GLASGOW, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Rangers moved to within a point of leaders Celtic with a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday.

Champions Celtic dropped points by conceding a stoppage time penalty to draw 1-1 at Hearts. They top the standings with 32 points from 14 games, while Rangers have 31 also from 14.

French striker Jean Claude Darcheville hit the early opener for Rangers when he latched on to a header from Kris Boyd to race into the box and blast a low shot into the bottom right past keeper Alan Combe in the fourth minute.

Ten minutes into the second half, defender Steven Whittaker's spectacular shot from the edge of the box hurtled into the top corner to seal the points for the home side.

Earlier in the day, Celtic went ahead in the 73rd minute when Australian striker Scott McDonald pounced on a parried save by French keeper Anthony Basso from Paul Hartley's free kick to stab the rebound into the net.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Celtic defender Gary Caldwell shoved Senegalese defender Ibrahim Tall for a penalty and Lithuanian substitute Andrius Velicka blasted home the spot kick to snatch a point for Hearts.

Elsewhere, Falkirk crushed St Mirren 5-1, Motherwell beat Gretna 3-0 and Inverness Caledonian Thistle won 1-0 at Dundee United with a fabulous strike by Ian Black in the 20th minute.

Aberdeen face Hibernian on Sunday in the weekend's remaining SPL fixture.

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