Dundee 2
Hibernian 1
League (Premier League)

2 - 1

League (Premier League)
Saturday, August 4th, 2001
Dens Park
Attendance: 9,447
3:00 PM Kick-off

Juan Sara (9)
Fabian Caballero (62)
John O'Neil (59)

Team Managers
Ivano Bonetti
Alex McLeish

Starting Eleven
1. Jamie Langfield
4. Marcello Marrocco
13. Zurab Khizanishvili
2. Barry Smith
17. Walter Del Rio
5. Beto Carranza
21. Alessandro Romano
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
8. Gavin Rae
9. Juan Sara
7. Fabian Caballero
Nick Colgan .1
Gary Smith .18
Franck Sauzee .4
Ulrick Laursen .3
Ulises de la Cruz .2
Grant Brebner .8
Mathias Jack .19
John O'Neil .11
Ian Murray .6
Craig Brewster .9
Paco Luna .7

40. Paul Mathers
6. Chris Coyne
11. Mark Robertson
14. Beto Garrido
15. Steven Milne
Tony Caig .31
Paul Fenwick .14
Derek Townsley .12
Garry O'Connor .27
David Zitelli .20

Beto Garrido for Giorgi Nemsadze (61)
Mark Robertson for Beto Carranza (79)
Steven Milne for Fabian Caballero (81)
Garry O'Connor for Craig Brewster (60)
David Zitelli for Paco Luna (60)
Derek Townsley for Garry O'Connor (82)

Marcello Marrocco (20)
Alessandro Romano (29)
Walter Del Rio (32)
Ulrick Laursen (27)
Grant Brebner (35)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Hugh Dallas (Referee)
Stuart Logan & Willie Dishington (Assistants)
Steve Conroy (Fourth Official)

Match Report

An emotional Beto Carranza inspired Dundee to their first win of the season, then rushed home to tell stricken pal Javier Artero all about it.

The Argentinian winger whipped off his shirt after Juan Sara nodded the Dark Blues in front against Hibs to reveal he was wearing a sleeveless version of Artero's number 18 jersey underneath.

And it emerged that was done at the request of the popular midfielder, now resting at home in Spain as he awaits the results of the tests he underwent last week to determine whether he has MS.

"This has been a bad week because of the news about Javier, although it seems it is better than we thought, and we dedicate the result to him," said Carranza.

"I spoke with him just before he left on Friday and he asked me to carry his shirt underneath.

"He said to me, 'If you do that it will mean that I am also on the pitch when you play, and when I come back it will feel like I have not been away.'

"I spoke to him once more this morning before I left for the game, and he asked me to call him again tonight to let him know everything that happened."

Carranza played as if he had Artero alongside him, urging him at every turn to ensure the Dark Blues- who toiled so badly at Dens Park last season-got their home campaign off to a winning start at the expense of a side they surrendered every one of the 12 points the clubs contested last term

True, he squandered a magnificent opportunity at 1-0 when he hesitated after being put clean through by an exquisite Fabian Caballero pass.

But otherwise, until running out of steam late on when he was replaced by Mark Robertson, he was one of the outstanding players afield, supplementing the skills he showed in turning defence into attack-as he released Caballero to cross for Sara to nod in the opener after nine minutes- with a fantastic goalline clearance after a downward driven Ulises De la Cruz effort bounced up over Jamie Langfield and was heading for the net.

"At the moment I am having a good spell," he said. "I enjoy myself when I play and I like to see the crowd enjoying themselves also."

Carranza's display was topped only by that of Caballero, who was simply fantastic.

His outside-of-the-foot set-up for Sara's goal was pinpoint, and his finish for the winner three minutes after John O'Neil had equalised on the hour mark was quite magnificent.

Hibs keeper Nick Colgan looked to have rescued his side when making first contact with a Caballero through pass intended for Sara.

But the ball broke back to Caballero, who steadied himself, rounded Colgan, and rolled the ball past two defenders and into the far corner of the net from 16 yards.

Much of the weight Caballero put on as he recuperated from the knee injury which wrecked last season for him has gone, and although he became fatigued to the extent that he had to be replaced by Steven Milne with 10 minutes left, on the evidence of Saturday he is close to being back to his very best form.

"Understandably, as this was his first-game back this season, Fabian tired physically. But he showed that all his tricks are back and that he is once again a threat to defences," said Carranza.

Dundee richly merited their win over a punchless Hibs-although, given their propensity for tossing away points, it was hearts in-mouth time when the vis- itors were awarded a corner deep into injury time.

"It was a case of everyone, even Savo (Milne), back when that happened because we wanted to take away our fate of the last minute in matches," admit- ted Bonetti.

"And we achieved a very important result against a very good team.

"I was glad not just with the three points but also the way that we got them.

"What pleased me most was the mentality we showed. We have the skill and quality, but you also need the right mentality and I think that is coming," he said.

The fact that he replaced both starting strikers-Craig Brewster and Francisco Paco' Luna-spoke volumes for Alex McLeish's frustration at the lack of goal threat carried by his side.

"Craig and Paco played quite well, but they are maybe a wee bit short of the sharpness that we require," he observed.

Brewster's replacement, Gary O'Connor, had to be stretchered off after dislocating a toe. He wasn't the only player in the wars, as Dundee's Georgi Nemsadze needed five stitches in a head wound.

Match report written by The Courier

Squad Statistics (as at August 4th, 2001)

2001-02 All Time
Jamie Langfield (GK)21 4 - 18 -
Barry Smith27 4 - 2251
Zurab Khizanishvili19 2 - 8 -
Marcello Marrocco32 4 - 33 -
Walter Del Rio25 3 - 12 -
Gavin Rae23 4114613
Giorgi Nemsadze29 2 - 432
Alessandro Romano31 4 - 23 -
Beto Carranza29 2 - 283
Fabian Caballero23 322010
Juan Sara24 434020
Mark Robertson (sub)24 3 - 8 -
Beto Garrido (sub) - 3 - 13 -
Steven Milne (sub)21 4 - 304

League Table (as at August 4th, 2001)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

First of all, can I welcome everyone back to Dens Park at the start of another season which I hope will be as exciting as the last and one in which we show further improvement.

When I arrived here twelve months ago, the initial target was to secure a top six finish. That we achieved, but during the forthcoming campaign, we want to go one step further and qualify for Europe as a reward for own efforts rather than by entering the Intertoto Cup as we did this season.

And in my opinion our prospects of reaching that goal are very bright. Whilst as yet we have no new faces on board putting the likes of Beto Carranza, Juan Sara and Fabian Caballero on long term contracts. does, given the quality of these players, reflect the determination at the Club to maintain and improve upon, what was achieved in my first season as manager

The three Argentinians were just several of the players to pledge their future to the club.

They followed in the footsteps of Gavin Rae, Beto Garrido, Giorgi Nemsadze and more recently two of the young Scots in the side did likewise, which can only be good for our future

But that is not to say that I am happy with the depth of our pool.

Hence earlier this week, was back in Italy completing the signing of defender Luis Medero. Like goalkeeper Julian Speroni, who has been at Dens for several weeks now, the pair are awaiting their Italian passports to be issued so that begin their Dens Park career.

Hopefully, that will be in the very near future because having a solid back four is one of my top priorities this term.

Fortunately, Walter del Rio showed up very well at Tannadice last week and having a player slotting in the way he did is exactly the kind of options I want and Medero's arrival will obviously strengthen us defensively.

Having secured Luis' signature, the next step will be to add a striker to the squad. Having said that, I am more than happy with the three at my disposal, but fully acknowledge that we do need more cover in that area, though don't expect any immediate signings.

I have no doubt that our fans were as disappointed as everyone in the dressing room was at the loss of a late equaliser at Tannadice on the opening day of the season which prevented us getting off to a winning start

However, when you don't kill off the opposition as we failed to do, you are always at risk of conceding a goal from a set piece.

Our big mistake was not to push forward and I don't know why we didn't do that get a third goal which would have sealed victory.

I know that some people will point out that we again lost a late goal, as we did on too many occasions last season, but the tendency then was to lose.

At least on this occasion, we drew which has to be good. Overall, considering it was our first game of the season, our performance was quite good and we have something to build upon. And from the moment the final whistle sounded last weekend, we have been preparing hard for this afternoon's match.

Given that we lost all four games to Hibs last season, this will be a real test of just how much we have improved.

Ivano Bonetti