Setback to Rangers Champions League hopes
Union Saint-Gilloise 2 Rangers 0
Champions League Qualifying First Leg
Den Dreef Stadium, Leuven
Rangers’ hopes of progressing to the Champions League suffered a huge setback after defeat against tough opposition in Belgium.
Gio van Bronckhorst’s side have a mountain to climb at Ibrox next Tuesday to overturn a two-goal deficit.
Goals either side of the break from Teddy Teuma and Dante Vanzeir dealt a major blow to Rangers Champions League hopes.
Van Bronkhorst admitted his team was “sloppy” and if they play the same way next week they have “no chance” of progressing in the competition.”
“We made a lot of mistakes and we are a little bit lucky it’s only 2-0,” he said.
The winners of this two-legged tie will face either Monaco or PSV in the playoff round with Axel Disasi’s late goal securing a first leg draw for the hosts at the Stade Louis II.
Monaco finished third in Ligue 1 behind champions PSG and Marseille, while PSV finished their Eredivisie campaign as runners-up to Ajax, missing out on the title by just two points.
The home leg of the play-off tie will be on 16 or 17 August with the second leg on 23 or 24 August.
If they don’t make it through the third qualifying round or play, Rangers will drop into the Europa League group stage.
Hearts, meanwhile, will take on either Linfield of Northern Ireland or Swiss outfit FC Zurich in their Europa League play-off meeting.
With new boss Jack Ross at the helm, Dundee United will meet Riga or Gil Vicente in the Conference League play-off if they can beat Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.