GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 09: Rangers' Malik Tillman celebrates scoring to make it 3-0 during a UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round match between Rangers and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at Ibrox Stadium, on August 09, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.   (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Rangers 3-0 Union Saint-Gilloise (Aggregate: 3-2): hosts overthrow Champions League qualification to book play-off spot

Giovanni van Bronckhorst said Rangers played with “passion, desire and fire” as his side produced an impressive comeback to beat Union Saint-Gilloise 3-2 on aggregate in their qualifier for the Champions League and book their place in the play-off round, where they will face PSV Eindhoven.

After losing 2-0 in Belgium last week, Van Bronckhorst’s men came up against it at Ibrox but James Tavernier’s penalty (45) just before half-time gave them hope.

Thirteen minutes after the break, Rangers were level on aggregate through Antonio Colak’s header before Malik Tillman completed the return (78) to send the hosts into the play-off round.

There was brief concern ahead of Tillman’s winner when James Sands received a second yellow card for a final challenge, but the decision was overturned by the linesman.

And it was the visitors who would end up finishing the game with 10 men when Lazare Amani was sent off with seconds to go as Rangers secured a memorable win.

They will face PSV, who beat Monaco 4-3 after extra time, in the play-off round next week, with the winner of the encounter advancing to the Champions League group stage.

“We know we are capable of delivering great nights at the club. But you always have to do it over and over again,” Van Bronckhurst said.

“That’s why I’m so proud of my players, of the way they played, with passion, with desire, with the ardor to go to the next round.”

James Tavernier put Rangers ahead from the penalty spot in the first half

How Rangers Made History

Rangers had never overcome a 2-0 away defeat in the first leg of a European fixture before this game. Some of the games last season at Ibrox when they reached the Europa League final were epic and this one reached similar heights.

There was pre-match excitement surrounding the return of Gers winger Ryan Kent after an ankle blow, with left-back Borna Barisic and midfielder Scott Arfield also back while Ridvan Yilmaz, Scott Wright and Steven Davis fell to the bench.

Alfredo Morelos, who came off the bench on Saturday to score the goal in a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock after a five-month absence with a thigh injury, started again among the substitutes, but there was the feeling that the Colombian striker would be needed. at one point.

Encouraged by their enthusiastic but sometimes anxious fans, Rangers hastily tried to unseat USG, who had been unchanged since the first leg.

Tom Lawrence of Rangers and Senne Lynen of Union Saint-Gilloise
Tom Lawrence of Rangers and Senne Lynen of Union Saint-Gilloise

Tillman hit a corner from Tom Lawrence beyond the near post before Colak headed a free kick from Tavernier over the bar.

The visitors, meanwhile, barely left their own half but with their opening corner in the 19th minute, defender Siebe Van der Heyden eyed Simon Adingra’s delivery just past the far post and Ibrox breathed a sigh of relief.

In the 28th minute, Union Saint-Gilloise goalkeeper Anthony Moris reacted quickly to tip a header from Colak over the bar, on a formidable free kick from Lawrence, and the visitors still held on.

It looked like they were going to see the first half, but they were undone in the 44th minute when referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos ruled that Barisic’s deep cross into the box had hit Van Der Heyden’s arm and Tavernier had duly sent Moris the wrong way with his spot-kick and the Champions League dream was lit.

Rangers pressed again early in the second half and again USG came back in defense looking to jump on the counter.

The second goal came when Lawrence’s raking pass from the left found Tavernier inside the box and he brought the ball back to Arfield. Midfield’s drive from 16 yards was parried by Moris and Colak was the first to head for the loose ball from one yard as Ibrox exploded again into noise and color.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 09: Antonio Colak of Rangers celebrates the 2-0 score during a UEFA Champions League third qualifying round match between Rangers and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise at Ibrox Stadium on August 09, 2022 , in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group) (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)
Rangers’ Antonio Colak scored 2-0 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate

USG were swinging and moments later Moris had to dive to his right to repel a decent drive from Gers midfielder John Lundstram.

Rabbi Matondo replaced Arfield in the 64th minute and the game began to stretch with spaces opening up.

USG tried to come out of their shell and Light Blues goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin ran from his goal to thwart Adingra, who was put down by Loïc Lapoussin.

Then came Rangers’ third as Barisic’s looping cross into the box saw Tillman rise early and over Moris to head for the empty net.

Ben Davies and Morelos immediately replaced James Sands and Colak and Moris rushed from his goal to stop Morelos from 35 yards after the striker was sent off by Kent, whose cross from the left a few minutes later just escaped Morelos.

Amani, cautioned in the 75th minute, was sent off after picking up a second yellow to end an extraordinary night in Govan.

“Passion, desire and fire” delights Van Bronckhorst

Manager of Rangers Giovanni van Bronckhorst:

“We needed a big performance and the pressure was on us after last week.

“We know we are capable of delivering great nights for the club. But you always have to do it again and again.

“That’s why I’m so proud of my players, of the way they played, with passion, with desire, with the passion to go to the next round.

“It’s the only way to be on the pitch, to create the atmosphere that we created with the fans today.

“It was an amazing night for all of us.”

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Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst says he is proud of his players after beating Union Saint-Gilloise 3-2 on aggregate in their Champions League qualifier to book their place in the play-off round.

Van Bronckhorst admitted his heart was in his mouth at 2-0 up in the second half when referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos showed defender Sands a second yellow card for a challenge, before changing his mind after consulting his linesman .

The Dutchman, who was unhappy with a penalty awarded to USG in last week’s 2-0 defeat in Belgium, said: “We knew last week was not a penalty, it which made it more difficult for us.

“Today I was happy with the decisions of the referee, of course it was in our favour.

“There was a moment in the second half with James Sands, I thought, ‘this can be a very important moment for the game’. It was good that he didn’t show the yellow card and that he gave us the ball.

“We want to be in the Champions League and I saw the desire in my players.”

The former Feyenoord player and boss was eager to play against PSV, coached by compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy.

He said: “It’s a familiar team for me. It’s great to see Ruud van Nistelrooy, again there are so many familiar faces.

“I was Fred Rutten’s (PSV assistant) assistant at Feyenoord a few years ago.

“It will be good to be back in the Netherlands after so many months in Glasgow – but we will prepare well.

“It’s a great chance to clear the final hurdle and play Champions League football.”

Geraerts: The penalty was a turning point

Patron of the Union Saint-Gilloise Karel Geraerts:

“Yes, until then everything was under control.

“We knew about the first 20 minutes because everyone said they were going to start really strong.

“We controlled everything very well and when you lose a goal it’s difficult to get the same scenario in the second half.

“The second goal gave the opposition more confidence and the third goal… there was a problem in the defense but they took the chance.”

What’s next for Rangers?

Saturday August 20 12:00 p.m.

Kick off 12:30 p.m.

Rangers return to Scottish Premiership action on Saturday as they host St. Johnstone at Ibrox; kick off 3 p.m. They then go to Hibernian the following weekend, a match to watch live Sky Sports Football; kick off 12:30 p.m.

Rangers 3-0 Union Saint-Gilloise (Aggregate: 3-2): hosts overthrow Champions League qualification to book play-off spot

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