Visiting the beer capital of Belgium at least provided Rangers lovers with the method to appease their sorrows.
A overall performance as flat as a day-old pint hasn’t absolutely ended hope of reaching the Champions League for the first time since 2010. But, my goodness, something a lot stronger might be required from Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his players if they’re to show the tie round at Ibrox next Tuesday night.
Uncertain on the back and timid in assault, this had a totally specific experience to the barnstorming displays that took Rangers all of the way to final season’s Europa League very last.
Seventy-six days on from Seville, a harmful false start turned into produced within the bid to steady a £40million institution level windfall.
Union St Gilloise’s Teddu Teuma scores the opener of their 2-0 win over Rangers on Tuesday
First-leg defeat leaves Gers dealing with an uphill warfare of their bid to qualify for Champions League MATCH FACTS
UNION ST-GILLOISE: (3-five-2) Moris; Sykes, Burgess, Van Der Heyden; Nieuwkoop, Lynen, Teuma (Puertas ninety+2), Lazare Amani, Lapoussin; Adingra (Ilyes eighty five), Vanzeir (Francois 90+2)
Subs no longer used: Imbrechts (GK), Pirard (GK); Boone, Dony, El Azzouzi, Huygevelde, Machida
Goals: Teuma (27), Vanzeir (PEN 76)
RANGERS: (four-1-2-three) McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Sands, Barisic (Yilmaz sixty seven); Lundstram; Kamara, Jack (Davies 67), Matondo (Wright seventy seven), Colak, Tillman (Lawrence seventy seven)
Subs now not used: McCrorie (GK), McGregor (GK); Arfield, Davis, Devine, King, Sakala
Bookings: Sands (40), Goldson (75), Davies (79), Lawrence (90+2)
Coach: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Referee: Irfan Peljto (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Venue: Joseph Marien Stadium (Belgium)
True, there was ill fortune inside the ridiculously harsh handball penalty awarded against Connor Goldson following a VAR test.
But no-one ought to truly dispute Union Saint-Gilloise merited a -intention first leg lead on the general stability of play. The Belgians had severa probabilities to inflict similarly pain.
Their establishing goal, netted by using Teddy Teuma halfway thru the primary half of, changed into dismal from a Rangers perspective. Weak protecting preceded a susceptible attempt at a store via Jon McLaughlin.
The goalkeeper went some way too redeeming himself with a clutch of subsequent stops as Union carved their way thru time after time.
This wasn’t even a right home suit for ultimate season’s Jupiler Pro League runners-up. Union’s Stade Joseph Marien is something of a museum piece and does not meet UEFA standards, as a result the transfer half an hour east to the UH Lueven’s Den Dreef Stadion.
Leuven is the bottom for numerous breweries, which includes a widespread facility generating gallon upon gallon of Stella Artois. Reassuringly costly become the old advertising word they used.
And the price of failure right here may be very high for Rangers in phrases of letting slip a danger to understand transformative revenue.
Tuesday’s play-off spherical draw showed the winners of this tie will meet both Monaco or PSV Eindhoven for a gap many of the elite.
Van Bronckhorst can not assume that far, even though.
Operating with a returned three here really didn’t work.
A exceptional plan, and plenty greater punch, will ought to be summoned if Ibrox is to degree any other tremendous European night time subsequent week and now not a bitter disappointment to in shape the loss to Malmo twelve months in the past.
Teuma’s (left) first-half strike gives Union Saint-Gilloise into the lead on Tuesday nighttime
Teuma’s shot is too much for Rangers goalkeeper to deal with, as the hosts take a primary-half of lead
Teuma celebrates breaking the impasse for Union in the third qualifying round clash
The absences of Ryan Kent and John Souttar from the visiting birthday party meant Van Bronckhorst turned into positive to make adjustments from Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win over Livingston. In the stop, there have been 4. And a transfer of formation.
Tom Lawrence and Scott Wright also dropped out, with James Sands, Ryan Jack, Rabbi Matondo and Malik Tillman promoted.
This is the primary time Union have performed in a continental opposition for the reason that pre-UEFA approved days of the Fairs Cup, but the ground was maybe best 3-quarters complete via time of kick-off arrived on a stickily heat night.
Coping with activities at the pitch was, of direction, a ways more considerable for Rangers. In that regard, first impressions were misleading. They genuinely settled faster.
With John Lundstram and Sands flanking Goldson at the returned, Van Bronckhorst’s guys mounted an early grip of ownership in opposition to rather edgy-looking hosts.
When Siebe Van der Heyden caught Antonio Colak just outside the location, the attitude demanded Borna Barisic step up. He despatched the free-kick spinning towards the near post, forcing Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris to punch clear.
Dante Vanzeir (centre) doubled the lead for Union from the penalty spot within the 2d half
Vanzeir stepped up and frivolously converted the penalty inside the 76th minute of the sport
Vanzeir coolly sent McLaughlin the wrong manner from the spot to make it 2-0 at the night
Sands then tested Moris with a crisp, left-footed strike from distance as Union toiled to find a foothold. One changed into soon placed, although. And from there they climbed powerfully upwards.
A first trace of hazard to the travelling defence got here while Loic Lapoussin’s corporation hit turned into blocked by using Lundstram. Then Lazare Amani nutmegged Barisic on a surge down the proper flank before sliding over a dangerous go that was anxiously cleared.
Firmer evasive action arrived whilst Sands made a first rate assignment on Dante Vanzeir to save you the Belgium cap netting from a Simon Adingra shipping. Lapoussin had a slid a thru-ball inside Lundstram to set up the possibility. Union have been at the march.
Their breakthrough arrived within the 27th minute. Aided, it need to be stated, through a few quite flimsy resistance inside the Rangers place.
Jack misplaced a struggle of wills against rival No eight Amani, with Barisic then not able to do sufficient to save you the ball being laid into the route of Teuma. His strike took a nick off the heel of Goldson but still appeared to overcome McLaughlin a touch too effortlessly. Shoddy stuff all round.
Just as at Livingston, Rangers were in the back of to a poor concession. And, yet again, there has been no considerable reaction prior to the c program languageperiod.
Rangers’ Antonio Colak buries his head into his shirt after the visitors cross 2-zero down
That could have been extraordinary had Colak no longer lost his bearings. Tillman’s move closer to him became good however the Croatian failed to make any contact along with his head. A obvious opportunity was lost.
Union very almost exacted extreme punishment. Not for the first time, the Belgians were capable of exploit Barisic’s vicinity and tee up a threat. Lapoussin might have made it 2-0 however for a extraordinary undertaking by using Tavernier. The Rangers captain seemed accusingly to his left as some other mini-inquest kicked off.
Staid when advancing, the Premiership runners-up have been rattled in retreat. That impact changed into confirmed whilst Sands collected a booking for clattering Amani close to the midway line.
Van Bronckhorst resisted any substitutions at the c program languageperiod. And the float of the fit remained firmly in the direction of McLaughlin.
Lapoussin headed over from Bart Nieuwkoop’s pass before the Dutch full-returned clipped the out of doors of the submit from Amani’s cutback.
On 67 mins, the Ibrox boss grew to become to the creation of £9m worth of summer commercial enterprise. On came Ridvan Yilmaz and Ben Davies, off went Barisic and Jack. Lundstram advanced into midfield.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s guys face an uphill battle in qualifying for the Champions League
It didn’t make sufficient of a difference. McLaughlin denied Lapoussin on the close to post and parried a comply with-up from Vanzeir. When Teuma’s drive then came off Goldson, it led to a lengthy VAR attention with the aid of Bosnian referee Irfan Peljto.
Given that the ball had taken a little deflection before striking Goldson’s arm at factor-clean range, the award of a penalty appeared nonsensical. But Peljto had made up his mind. And Vanzeir coolly sent McLaughlin the wrong manner from the spot.
The Ibrox goalkeeper then saved from the equal player as he broke away seeking out a third. If Rangers are going to get out of this mess, that could but show a vital second.