REPORT: PSV 0-1 (2-3) RANGERS Rangers are into the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time since 2010 after an impressive 1-0 away win over PSV Eindhoven.
RANGERS will play Champions League group stage football for the first time since 2010 following tonight’s stunning 1-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in The Netherlands.
After a 2-2 draw at Ibrox in last Tuesday’s first leg, Antonio Colak’s goal on the hour was the difference between the two sides to see Gers through to the competition proper and tomorrow’s draw in Istanbul.
Both Jack and Matondo made the bench tonight next to Allan McGregor, Robby McCrorie, Ridvan, Leon King, Adam Devine, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield, Scott Wright, Fashion Jr and young striker Robbie Ure.
Conditions as we approached kick-off in Eindhoven were pretty incredible for Northern Europe at the end of August – the temperature at 9pm local still hovering around 30 degrees with barely a breath of wind and a heavy humidity hanging in the air. Indeed, it was a total contrast from the cool, wet conditions of Ibrox eight days ago in the first leg.
Gers won themselves a corner within 30 seconds of this one getting off and running, but Lawrence’s ball from the left was claimed by Walter Benitez in goal.
From there, it was a high-energy start from the home side, with their first effort being a weak Cody Gakpo 25-yarder that McLaughlin gathered with ease.
Kent then tested Benitez with a fierce, low drive from 25-yards that he did well to hold onto – and that shot just around the 15 minute mark marked the start of some decent domination and play from Gers where they forced a few corners and Kent had another effort that cleared the crossbar this time.
A 2-2 draw from the first leg left the game perfectly poised and Antonio Colak’s 60th minute tap-in proved decisive that ensures Rangers join rivals Celtic in Thursday’s Champions League draw.
PSV had 58 per cent possession and created 16 shots to Rangers’ 14 but it was Colak’s easy effort on the hour mark that settled the tie in Eindhoven this evening in a night that will live long in the memory for those travelling Gers supporters.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s desire to have his team pressing high up the pitch paid off when Malik Tillman robbed defender Andre Ramalho of the ball in the box after goalkeeper Walter Benitez had played him a difficult pass. Tillman kept his composure to pass sideways to Colak who was unmarked and couldn’t miss.
No Morelos, no problem
Van Bronckhorst’s decision to leave Alfredo Morelos at home was a big one. If Rangers hadn’t have qualified tonight the call could have blown up in his face, but now it will hopefully just become background noise at the club.
The club’s all-time leading goalscorer in Europe didn’t travel with his side with van Bronckhorst claiming he wasn’t ready. Morelos hasn’t started a match this season and didn’t help his cause when he came off the bench at the weekend only to be red-carded 13 minutes later.
“I know he wants to play, but to play for Rangers, you need to have a certain level mentally, physically – and, at the moment, he’s not ready to play,” said Van Bronckhorst before the match.
RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Sands, Barisic, Kamara (Arfield, 73), Lundstram, Tillman, Lawrence (Wright, 73), Kent, Colak (Fashion Jr, 92)
SUBS: McGregor, McCrorie, Ridvan, King, Devine, Davis, Jack, Matondo, Ure.
PSV EINDHOVEN: Benitez, Teze, Obispo, Ramalho (Til, 62), Sangare, de Jong (Simons, 45), Gakpo, Gutierrez (Mwene, 62), Veerman, Saibari (Vinicius, 76), Max (van Ginkel, 86)