Europa League - Qualifying Play-offs - 2nd Leg
Rangers1Legia Warsaw0

Rangers 1-0 Legia Warsaw: Alfredo Morelos puts side into Europa League groups

Alfredo Morelos' header was his 10th goal of the season
Alfredo Morelos' header was his 10th goal of the season

A dramatic stoppage-time Alfredo Morelos goal edged Rangers past Legia Warsaw and into the group stages of the Europa League on a nerve-shredding night at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard's side endured a frustrating evening against their obdurate Polish visitors, having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Warsaw last week.

However, in a game of few clear chances, Morelos headed in Jordan Jones' cross to seal Rangers' place in the group stage alongside Celtic for the second consecutive season.

The draw will take place at 12:00 BST on Friday.

Rangers toiled for much of the game inside a febrile Ibrox, a section of which was closed after the club were charged by Uefa for sectarian singing by fans during the first qualifying round win over St Joseph's.

The club confirmed on Wednesday that they will not take tickets for their first away match in the group stages after being given a second Uefa charge for more "racist behaviour" in the first leg against Legia.

Rangers will discover their fate at a hearing on Friday, and face the prospect of either playing their next home game behind closed doors or being banned from taking fans to their next away fixture.

Morelos finally claims his prize

Rangers lacked a clinical, final touch from the start. An unmarked Morelos jabbed Ryan Jack's right-wing cross wide from a promising position after 10 minutes and would spurn another chance before the half was out.

This time, the Colombian led a counter attack before cutting inside and firing a shot towards goal. However, his shot through a sea of Legia defenders bounced tamely towards goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki.

The visitors tried to take advantage of a blunt and ineffective Rangers performance when Luquinhas latched on to a loose ball just after the half-hour , but the forward's own attempt mirrored Morelos' chance with a shot straight at Allan McGregor.

On the stroke of half time towering midfielder Carlos Cafu met a corner to knock the ball just wide of the Rangers' back post, but it was the home side that went in to the break cursing their missed chances.

Graphic

If poor luck dogged Rangers' first half, it was all to evident in the second period, too, when the first action of the half saw left-back Borna Barisic go down injured after colliding with Nikola Katic.

The Croatian defender was eventually forced to come off, but not before Morelos misjudged another clear header in the 65th minute, following a perfectly weighted cross from James Tavernier.

The game was temporarily halted during the second half after smoke from flares set off by the raucous Legia fans clouded the pitch. And, against the backdrop of an increasingly agitated home crowd and an increasingly rambunctious away section, Morelos continued to hunt for the all-important goal.

With 20 minutes to play, the Colombian curled a deflected shot just wide, then a few minutes later he met a Tavernier cross with an audacious volley straight at the goalkeeper. Chances kept appearing, but the Rangers forward continued to miss the target.

The home side's continued attacking intent was almost all in vain when Jaroslaw Niezgoda skipped inside Connor Goldson with minutes of the 90 remaining, but his effort was saved by an alert McGregor.

The breakthrough finally came in the 91st minute. Jones cut inside from the left and dug out a back-post cross towards Morelos, who connected cleanly and watched the ball nestle just inside the back post.

It wasn't pretty or impressive but it was more than enough.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2TavernierBooked at 70mins
  • 6Goldson
  • 19KaticBooked at 80mins
  • 31BarisicBooked at 60minsSubstituted forFlanaganat 64'minutes
  • 8Jack
  • 10Davis
  • 17Aribo
  • 37ArfieldSubstituted forJonesat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 20Morelos
  • 11OjoSubstituted forKamaraat 90+5'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 5Helander
  • 9Defoe
  • 13Foderingham
  • 15Flanagan
  • 18Kamara
  • 22Jones
  • 24Stewart

Legia Warsaw

  • 1Majecki
  • 41StolarskiBooked at 38minsSubstituted forNagyat 73'minutes
  • 5LewczukBooked at 90mins
  • 55Jedrzejczyk
  • 16Martins Rocha
  • 26Ribeiro Dias
  • 24Soares Martins
  • 29VesovicBooked at 90mins
  • 8Gvilia
  • 82Lima Linhares
  • 99KulenovicSubstituted forNiezgodaat 56'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Jodlowiec
  • 4Wieteska
  • 7Antolic
  • 9Daniel López Huesca
  • 11Niezgoda
  • 21Nagy
  • 33Cierzniak
Referee:
Slavko Vincic
Attendance:
45,463

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 29th August 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen6411169713
2Zürich631276110
3AEK Larnaca6123612-65
4Ludogorets604257-24

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg66001761118
2Celtic630368-29
3RB Leipzig62139817
4Rosenborg6015414-101

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg632165111
2Slavia Prague631243110
3Bordeaux62136607
4FC Copenhagen612335-25

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Zagreb6420113814
2Fenerbahçe62227708
3Spartak Trnava621347-37
4Anderlecht603327-53

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal65101221016
2Sporting64111331013
3Vorskla Poltava6105413-93
4FK Qarabag6105213-113

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Betis633072512
2Olympiakos6312116510
3AC Milan6312129310
4F91 Dudelange6015316-131

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal6240125710
2Rapid Vienna631269-310
3Rangers61328806
4Spartak Moscow6123812-45

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Frankfurt66001751218
2Lazio6303911-29
3Apollon Limassol6213101007
4Marseille6015616-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk6321148611
2Malmö FF62317619
3Besiktas6213911-27
4Sarpsborg 086123813-55

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla64021861212
2FK Krasnodar640288012
3Standard Liege631279-210
4Akhisarspor6015414-101

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kyiv6321107311
2Rennes630378-19
3FC Astana62227708
4FK Jablonec612368-25

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea6510123916
2BATE Borisov63039909
3MOL Vidi621357-27
4PAOK Salonika6105512-73
View full Europa League tables

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