Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Rangers (agg 2-4): Kent strike and McGregor heroics take Gers through

By Sports Desk March 17, 2022

Rangers rode their luck to clinch a place in the Europa League quarter-finals after a 2-1 defeat in Serbia secured a 4-2 aggregate victory over Red Star Belgrade.

Hosts Red Star were emphatically on top after 10 minutes of the second half, leading through Mirko Ivanic's early strike and repeatedly threatening the Rangers goal.

Yet Ryan Kent took advantage of an injury to nearest man Cristiano Piccini to charge into space before sending a deflected strike into the back of the net, taking sting out of the contest.

Allan McGregor made a remarkable string of saves for the Scottish visitors, who reached the last eight of a European competition for the first time since losing to Zenit in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup final. A stoppage-time penalty from El Fardou Ben Nabouhane gave Red Star the win on the night, but they had nothing to celebrate.

The hosts made a bright start and were ahead inside 10 minutes. From a short corner on the right, Rangers carelessly allowed a cross from Guelor Kanga to bounce, and Ivanic controlled with his chest before ramming past McGregor from eight yards.

It was almost 2-0 moments later as McGregor saved well from Ivanic, and the Scottish giants were jolted. Red Star went route one and carved out another glorious chance, but Milan Pavkov trickled a shot wide after Ohi Omoijuanfo got the better of two defenders in the air.

Piccini's fizzing left-footed drive just before half-time forced McGregor to pull off the spectacular to keep Red Star's lead down to one goal.

Early in the second half, McGregor had to stretch as Kanga's corner from the left almost bounced in. The hosts kept coming and Omoijuanfo hit a speculative volley that struck Connor Goldson and, fortunately for Rangers, deflected straight at McGregor.

The Rangers equaliser came against the run of play and was a choker for the hosts, Kent playing a one-two with Glen Kamara and bursting from his own half. The winger dashed away from a limping Piccini before hitting a shot that deflected off Aleksandar Dragovic and looped over goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

McGregor made a double save from Kanga and Ben, then kept out a header from Milan Gajic, before he was beaten from the spot at the death. It was some night for McGregor, and some night for Rangers.

Related items

  • Lydia Bedford takes Brentford Under-18s reins in landmark appointment for women Lydia Bedford takes Brentford Under-18s reins in landmark appointment for women

    Lydia Bedford has been announced as Brentford Under-18s head coach in a landmark appointment.

    Bedford has left her position as assistant boss with Arsenal’s women team to become the first female coach to take the reins at a men’s professional side in England.

    The former Leicester manager is set to work alongside Jon-Paul Pittman, who will join as assistant coach from Forest Green.

    Brentford director of football Phil Giles said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to attract such talented coaches as Lydia and Jon-Paul to our under-18 team for next year.

    “We undertook an extensive recruitment process for these roles. Lydia and Jon-Paul were the two best candidates, and thankfully we were able to finalise their recruitment to the staff.

    “I’m sure they will excel, and we all look forward to working with them through pre-season and beyond.”

  • Kyogo Furuhashi ‘bullish’ about making Scottish Cup final – Ange Postecoglou Kyogo Furuhashi ‘bullish’ about making Scottish Cup final – Ange Postecoglou

    Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi is “bullish” about his chances of making the Scottish Cup final despite not training so far this week.

    The Japan international went off with a leg knock during last Saturday’s 5-0 win over Aberdeen after coming off worse in a 50-50 with Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos.

    The 28-year-old has scored 33 goals this season and won a clean sweep of Scotland’s player of the year awards, and he has an impressive record in cup finals, with match-winning doubles in the League Cup in each of his two seasons with Celtic.

    Boss Ange Postecoglou said: “Kyogo is progressing. He hasn’t trained yet. The plan is to get him out there tomorrow (Friday) and see how he goes. He is doing some individual stuff this afternoon.

    “He always is, but he is still pretty bullish about playing so we will just see how he goes.

    “We will be guided by him a little bit. We have done that in the past. He has had a couple of times, whether it’s with his shoulder or in last year’s League Cup final he went in with a hamstring that wasn’t totally healed and scored a couple of goals.

    “So I will be guided by him. He is very strong mentally so if he gives us the green light we will put him in there.”

    The only definite absentee is Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy, who has been nursing a back problem in recent weeks.

    Postecoglou said: “(Alistair) Johnston is fine, he has trained all week and (Sead) Haksabanovic is back in so he is available as well. The only real absence is Aaron Mooy.”

  • UEFA awaits reports following Jose Mourinho’s rant at referee Anthony Taylor UEFA awaits reports following Jose Mourinho’s rant at referee Anthony Taylor

    UEFA is awaiting the match official’s reports before deciding whether to take action against Jose Mourinho for his rant at referee Anthony Taylor after Roma’s Europa League final defeat, the PA news agency understands.

    Roma boss Mourinho was critical of Taylor in his post-match press conference after his side’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Sevilla in Budapest on Wednesday night.

    And in video footage which later emerged on social media, the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager is seen gesticulating at Taylor and officials in the stadium car park and heard saying “disgrace”.

    Taylor booked Mourinho during the game, which finished 1-1 after extra time before Sevilla sealed their seventh Europa League triumph by winning 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out.

    Tempers simmered on and off the pitch in a disappointing final, with 13 players shown yellow cards, seven of them to Roma players, while fourth official Michael Oliver had his work cut out to keep control of both dug-outs.

    The game was littered with delays, with a total of 25 minutes’ stoppage time added to the 120 minutes of playing time.

    Mourinho lost for the first time in his sixth major European final, while Sevilla extended their record number of tournament wins following previous successes in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.