Monday, February 22, 2010

22 February 2007 - Rangers Ride The Comeback Trail

On 22 February 2007, Rangers stormed back from a 2-1 first leg deficit to defeat Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-0 in the second leg of the UEFA Cup Round of 32.

Playing before a crowd of over 46,000 at their home stadium, Ibrox, Rangers were determined to avenge their first leg upset loss, played one week previously at Tel Aviv's Bloomfield Stadium. Pride was not the only thing at stake, however--a loss or a draw with the Israeli club would elminate Rangers from the tournament.

As it turned out, the Glasgow side need not have worried. They dominated the second leg from start to finish, taking a 2-0 lead into the break with goals from their captain, midfielder Barry Ferguson (24'), and striker Kris Boyd (35'). The match proved just as one-sided after halftime, with Ferguson (pictured) scoring his second to extend the lead to 3-0 in the 73rd minute before 90th-minute substitute Charlie Adam capped the victory with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time. The only black mark on the day for Rangers was the 74th-minute sending off of their goalkeeper, Allan McGregor, after he fouled Hapoel's Luciano De Bruno.

The 5-1 aggregate win preserved Rangers' hopes of playing in the Final, held that year at Glasgow's Hampden Park, but they were eliminated from the competition by Spanish side Osasuna in the next round.

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