Europa League - Round of 32 - 2nd Leg
Sporting Braga0Rangers1

Sporting Braga 0-1 Rangers (2-4 agg): Gerrard's side reach Europa League last 16

Sporting Braga v Rangers
Rangers last reached the last 16 of European competition in 2011, when they qualified from the Champions League group stage

Rangers backed up last week's stunning comeback by producing a poised performance to dump Braga out of the Europa League and reach the last 16.

Ryan Kent's calm, breakaway finish coupled with a strong defensive display means the Ibrox side are in the last 16 in European competition for the first time since 2011.

It might have been more comfortable had Ianis Hagi not had a first-half penalty saved and Scott Arfield's late attempt from close range not been correctly ruled out for offside.

But few would have given Steven Gerrard's side a hope of progressing against the Europa League's top scorers, having been 2-0 down after an hour of the home leg.

Kent's strike, though, ensured a 4-2 aggregate victory and means Rangers can look forward with excitement to Friday's draw at 12:00 GMT in Nyon.

Master counter-attackers solve defensive woes

Rangers should have been out of sight by the interval but had to wait until an hour in before grabbing the goal that ultimately assured their progress.

They had been defending progressively deeper as Braga began to exert pressure, but Hagi's ball over the top released Kent to race through and fire low past Matheus, in off the far post. It was a counter-attacking masterclass and no more than Rangers deserved, having spurned three glorious first-half chances.

Braga's high defensive line was ripe to be exploited and Rangers picked a hole in it early on. Kent threaded through for Arfield, who bore down on goal before slipping a pass to Florian Kamberi. The striker looked tentative as he struck it and Matheus was able to beat the shot away.

Rangers graphic

Kent then had an equally gilt-edged opportunity to put Rangers ahead but he dragged his shot wide of the far post from Hagi's pull-back.

Braga were enjoying plenty of possession, particularly in the wide areas, and that looked their most likely route to goal. Twice Nuno Sequeira delivered from the left and twice Paulinho went close - the first header tipped over the bar by Allan McGregor.

But then came Rangers' biggest chance as Raul Silva was penalised for handling Kent's corner - a decision verified by VAR. Hagi, the hero of the first leg, struck the penalty firmly but Matheus threw up his left arm as he dived to his right and kept his team level on the night.

The huge travelling support may have feared those misses would come back to haunt them but Kent's strike settled them.

Rangers' defensive frailties have been exposed domestically this year but they showed a determination and organisation here that have deserted them of late.

Paulinho had one more header, this time off the outside of McGregor's left-hand post, but Rangers held firm to take their place in the last 16.

Man of the match - George Edmundson (Rangers)

Put into the centre of the Rangers defence in place of the beleaguered Nikola Katic, Edmundson was a colossus as he repaid his manager's faith in him.

The entire back four was solid and the midfield trio of Ryan Jack, Steven Davis and Arfield did a power of closing-down to suffocate Braga's creative forces.

But Edmundson's commanding presence alongside Connor Goldson was the bedrock upon which the victory was built.

Line-ups

Sporting Braga

  • 1Lima Magalhães
  • 36Viana Willemen Da Silva
  • 92CarmoBooked at 47minsSubstituted forRuizat 64'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 34Melo da SilvaSubstituted fordo Nascimento Galenoat 53'minutes
  • 47de Sousa EsgaioBooked at 89mins
  • 27Rodrigues Barbosa
  • 60Alves Palhinha GonçalvesSubstituted forBarradas Novaisat 45'minutes
  • 5Cruz Jerónimo Sequeira
  • 77Machado Trincão
  • 21da Luz Horta
  • 20Dias Fernandes

Substitutes

  • 3Tormena de Farias
  • 9Ruiz
  • 12
  • 15Luz Horta
  • 17Barradas Novais
  • 18Fonte
  • 90do Nascimento Galeno

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 4Edmundson
  • 31Barisic
  • 8Jack
  • 10Davis
  • 37Arfield
  • 7HagiSubstituted forAriboat 72'minutes
  • 28KamberiBooked at 73minsSubstituted forOjoat 78'minutes
  • 14Kent

Substitutes

  • 11Ojo
  • 13Foderingham
  • 16Halliday
  • 17Aribo
  • 18Kamara
  • 19Katic
  • 24Stewart
Referee:
Andreas Ekberg
Attendance:
18,113

Match Stats

Home TeamSporting BragaAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home12
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Sporting Braga 0, Rangers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sporting Braga 0, Rangers 1.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by Scott Arfield.

Booking

Abel Ruiz (Sporting Braga) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by Allan McGregor.

Offside, Rangers. Ryan Jack tries a through ball, but Joe Aribo is caught offside.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Matheus.

Attempt saved. Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Scott Arfield.

Attempt missed. João Novais (Sporting Braga) header from very close range is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Wenderson Galeno with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by James Tavernier.

Booking

Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting Braga) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting Braga).

Sheyi Ojo (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. João Novais (Sporting Braga) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by Ryan Kent.

Offside, Rangers. Scott Arfield tries a through ball, but Sheyi Ojo is caught offside.

Attempt missed. João Novais (Sporting Braga) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by Ryan Kent.

Attempt missed. Paulinho (Sporting Braga) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by João Novais with a cross following a set piece situation.

Trincão (Sporting Braga) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Borna Barisic (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Sheyi Ojo replaces Florian Kamberi.

Offside, Rangers. Connor Goldson tries a through ball, but Scott Arfield is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Connor Goldson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Tavernier with a cross.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Wenderson Galeno.

Foul by Wenderson Galeno (Sporting Braga).

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nuno Sequeira (Sporting Braga).

Joe Aribo (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Florian Kamberi (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Fransergio (Sporting Braga) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Florian Kamberi (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Joe Aribo replaces Ianis Hagi.

Paulinho (Sporting Braga) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by João Novais with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Sporting Braga. Conceded by Scott Arfield.

Nuno Sequeira (Sporting Braga) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ianis Hagi (Rangers).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Trincão.

Substitution

Substitution, Sporting Braga. Abel Ruiz replaces David Carmo.

Attempt missed. Trincão (Sporting Braga) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Fransergio with a headed pass.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla65011431115
2Apoel Nicosia6312108210
3FK Qarabag6123811-35
4F91 Dudelange6114818-104

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Malmö FF632186211
2FC Copenhagen62315419
3Dynamo Kyiv61417707
4Lugano603325-33

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel6411124813
2Getafe640284412
3FK Krasnodar6303711-49
4Trabzonspor6015311-81

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1LASK6411114713
2Sporting6402117412
3PSV Eindhoven6222912-38
4Rosenborg6015311-81

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic6411106413
2CFR Cluj640264212
3Lazio620469-36
4Rennes611458-34

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal6321147711
2Frankfurt6303810-29
3Standard Liege6222810-28
4Vitória Guimarães6123710-35

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto631289-110
2Rangers62318629
3Young Boys62228718
4Feyenoord612379-25

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Espanyol6321124811
2Ludogorets6222101008
3Ferencvárosi TC614157-27
4CSKA Moscow612339-65

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KAA Gent6330117412
2Wolfsburg632197211
3Saint-Étienne604268-24
4Oleksandria6033610-43

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Istanbul Basaksehir631279-210
2Roma623112669
3B Mgladbach622269-38
4RZ Pellets WAC612378-15

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga6420159614
2Wolves6411115613
3Slovan Bratislava61141013-34
4Besiktas6105615-93

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd6411102813
2AZ Alkmaar623115879
3Partizan Belgrade6222101008
4FC Astana6105419-153
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