Friday, 18 February 2011

Rangers Fail To Make Home Advantage Count.

Rangers hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Europa League took a dent last night when Sportings Matias Fernandez nodded home to turn the tie in Sporting's favour.

Rangers started on the back foot as Sporting came to Glasgow looking to end the tie as soon as possible but were unable to find the net when Helder Postiga collected Evaldo Fabiano's cutback and turned well to angle a shot across the face of goal.

As the visitors pressed Rangers looked to be in danger but from no where the Gers could have scored as El Hadji Diouf released Whittaker on the right and the full-back's cross was flicked narrowly wide by the head of Lafferty.

Loan star Vladimir Weiss who was a thorn in the Sporting defence's side caused them all sorts of problems throughout the game put a dangerous cross in for Kyle Lafferty who once again was unable to make the chances count.

Rangers came out in the second half attacking and could have scored from kick off as they forced a save from the Sporting keeper and they continued to press until they got their reward.A Vladimir Weiss swinging corner was met by the head of Steven Whittaker who started the game in a more attacking role of right midfield.

As Weiss picked up the ball in his own half,darted past various Sporting players without challenge.It was up to Daniel Carrico to pull the winger back and kill the danger, He was booked and will now be suspended for the second leg.

Rangers pushed for a second goal but it never came and on 89 minutes Sporting broke, the Rangers defence caught napping and Joao Pereira crossed for subsitute Fernandez to head past McGregor.

Kyle Lafferty had a few more chances but was dissapointing as the Sporting keeper made easy saves.

Full Time 1-1.

Next Leg- Thursday 24th February, Lisbon

RANGERS : McGregor; Foster, Weir, Bougherra, Papac; Whittaker, Davis, Edu, Weiss; Diouf; Lafferty

SPORTING : Patricio; Pereira, Carrico, Polga, Evaldo; Maniche, Mendes, Cristiano, Zapater, Djalo: Postiga

REF: Manuel Graefe (GER)

REF: Manuel Graefe (GER)