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Americans Abroad

Reyna helps Rangers near title; Hedjuk scores for Leverkusen reserves.

By Willy Calderon (in Bristol, England)
Matthias Schneider (in Leverkusen, Germany)

(Friday, April 14, 2000) -- Glasgow Rangers inched closer to the Scottish Premiere League championship courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Hearts on the road at Tynecastle Wednesday night.

The match was surrounded in controversy because of an apparent hand ball by Tugay Kerimoglu led to Rangers scoring the equalizer and changed the tone of the match.

United States midfielder Claudio Reyna started the match at right back and was replaced in the 70th minute by Jorg Albertz. In some instances, Reyna had to put forth a strong effort to compensate for a weak performance by captain Lorenzo Amoruso was in poor form in defence.

Hearts winger Gary Naismith caused problems for Reyna and Barry Ferguson with his runs down the left flank but Rangers didn't yield a second goal.

The victory last night moved Rangers 16 points ahead of second place Celtic. A Rangers victory over Dundee United Saturday, coupled with a Celtic loss, would clinch the title for the defending champions, and would put them into the European Champions League next year.

In Germany, U.S. midfielder Frankie Hedjuk, who has been ill and out of action for several weeks returned to Bayer Leverkusen's reserve side and scored a goal as the team moved into the final of what might be called the "German Amateur Cup" competition.

Leverkusen recorded a 2-0 decision over FC Cologne's under-23 side in the semifinal of this cup competition.

Hedjuk scored the match's first goal in the 43rd minute. Leverkusen added a second near the end.

Hedjuk started in the midfield in a more attacking role then with Leverkusen's full side where he plays at right defense, when he plays.

The Leverkusen reserves meet TuS Paderborn tomorrow in the final at home.

Willy Calderon, an American living in Bristol, England, can be e-mailed at willy@netcity.co.uk. Matthias Schneider lives in Leverkusen, Germany and is employed by Bayer Leverkusen as an English-language translator.

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