Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Progres Niederkorn 0-0 Rangers (0-2 agg): Stalemate in Luxembourg sends Gerrard´s men through

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 1 Aug 2019

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Rangers claimed a goalless draw away to Progres Niederkorn in Thursday’s second leg to win 2-0 on aggregate and book their place in the Europa League third qualifying round.

Having won last week’s first leg at Ibrox courtesy of goals from Joe Aribo and Sheyi Ojo, the visitors saw the job through in a quiet affair at the Stade Josy Barthel to set up a tie with Danish side FC Midtjylland in the next round.

There was to be no repeat of the embarrassing 2-0 loss to the same opponents in this fixture two years ago for Rangers, who came closest to scoring across the 90 minutes with Scott Arfield’s shot against the post in the first half.

Steven Gerrard made four changes from the reverse fixture, with Alfredo Morelos among those dropping to the bench, and it was Rangers who looked the more likely to break the deadlock for large parts of the match in Luxembourg.

Arfield nearly found a way through 11 minutes in as he chased down a pass from Ojo and squeezed the ball past Sebastian Flauss from a tight angle, only for the ball to hit the near post.

Nikola Katic sent an effort wide and Ojo, on target along with Aribo in the first leg, had a shot saved by Flauss as Gerrard’s men looked for a killer third goal.

Progres were a lot livelier in the second half and should have edged in front on the day through Sebastien Thill, but the captain sliced high over the crossbar after Allan McGregor parried a long-range shot.

Aribo had an effort blocked from close range at the other end late on, but it did not matter as Rangers brought an end to their opponents’ European journey and exacted some revenge for their chastening defeat here in 2017.

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