IT was the sort of storyline that even the cheesiest of Hollywood directors would have turned their nose up at.
In what was probably his last ever game for Rangers, Italian defender Lorenzo Amoruso scored the goal that brought both the Scottish Cup and the treble back to Ibrox.
The Italian – who looks likely to join Blackburn Rovers in the summer – rose highest to power a header past Julian Speroni for the game’s only goal after 65 minutes before celebrating in his traditional wildly enthusiastic manner.
If he is to leave the club, then it was the perfect way to bring down six years at Ibrox and rescued a Rangers side who never really performed to the high standards to which they had become accustomed over the previous 10 months.
Following the sparkling champagne show against Dunfermline the previous week, this was a decidedly flat performance from the Light Blues against a Dundee side that harried and harassed them throughout.
Jim Duffy’s men had given the Light Blues a torrid time in the recent league encounter between the sides and they were no less effective here under the sunshine at Hampden.
The Dundee manager had gambled by playing three up front and the move paid off, with the Rangers’ defence looking ill at ease any time they were forced to back-track to cover the darting runs of Steve Lovell, Mark Burchill and Fabian Caballero.
The first taste of Dundee’s ambition came as early as the fourth minute when Barry Smith smacked the post with a sweetly-struck volley before Caballero expertly turned Bob Malcolm- in for the injured Mikel Arteta – and almost played in Burchill on goal.
It was a curiously subdued opening from Rangers and it took them 10 minutes before they fashioned out any sort of scoring opportunity.
On that occasion Fernando Ricksen’s cross was nodded down by Ronald de Boer only for Shota Arveladze to waste the opportunity by wildly blazing a shot wide of goal.
Michael Mols then battered a header off the crossbar in Rangers’ best chance of the half before de Boer performed an exquisite turn to create a shooting chance for himself that was deflected wide for a corner.
Despite those chances, Dundee continued to look the side more likely to break the deadlock and Alex McLeish’s side would have been the more relieved of the two to traipse up the tunnel at half-time with the scoreline still goalless.
Just as he did in last week’s league-winning win over Dunfermline, Alex McLeish chose the respite of the break to make a tactical switch, with Mo Ross replacing Michael Mols.
It was a surprise move – with the young defender not having played since April 5 – but it allowed Ricksen to move forward into midfield as Rangers re-grouped to try to make more of an impact on a match that had been drifting away from them.
Dundee were still looking lively on the counter attack and Craig Moore had to make two vital last-ditch challenges to deny Caballero and then Lovell from opening the scoring.
McLeish threw on Steven Thompson for Arveladze but it was Neil McCann who had Rangers’ next chance when he headed just wide from Malcolm’s cross.
Minutes later and the Light Blues went in front. Thompson was awarded a free kick on the left of the Dundee penalty box and when McCann swung the cross in, Amoruso was in the right place to plant a header past the sprawling Speroni.
It was perhaps harsh luck on Dundee but it mattered little to the huge Rangers support who celebrated with much gusto.
Their hearts were in their mouths shortly after though when Dundee should have equalised.
Substitute Nacho Novo had been only on the field for a matter of minutes when he stabbed a Jonay Hernandez cross narrowly wide of goal when it looked a certainty that he would score.
Duffy’s side continued to press towards Stefan Klos’ goal in desperate search of an equalising goal but a weak effort from sub Garry Brady was snaffled up gratefully by the goalkeeper.
It was Dundee’s last opportunity as Rangers held on to complete a memorable treble thanks to Amoruso’s timely – and perhaps last ever – intervention.
RANGERS (4-4-2): 1 Klos; 2 Ricksen, 3 Moore, 4 Amoruso, 5 Numan (Muscat 68); 7 Arveladze (Thompson 56), 8 Malcolm, 6 Ferguson, 11 McCann; 9 de Boer, 10 Mols (Ross 46)
Subs not used: McGregor, Maclean
Booked: Arveladze (43), Moore (58), McCann (90)
DUNDEE (4-3-3): 12 Speroni; 3 Mackay (Milne 77), 13 Khizanishvili, 19 Mair, 16 Hernandez; 2 Smith, 8 Rae (Brady 84), 10 Nemsadze; 7 Caballero, 18 Burchill (Novo 70), 25 Lovell
Subs not used: Langfield, Carranza
Booked: Novo (85)
Man of the Match: Craig Moore