First leg score: Royale Union Saint-Gilloise 2-0 Rangers
Rangers vs Royale Union Saint-Gilloise
Rangers to qualify- 10/3!
After a truly shambolic display in the first leg, Rangers are very much up against it in this tie.
Royale Union Saint-Gilloise came into this tie as massive underdogs, but took a first half lead a week ago through Teddy Teuma’s curling effort.
Then, towards the end of the second half, came the controversial moment of the night at Den Dreef.
After consulting with the VAR, referee Irfan Peljto penalised Connor Goldson for handball, astonishingly giving USG a penalty.
Nevertheless, the Belgian side gladly accepted this gift, with Dante Vanzeir cooly sending Jon McLaughlin the wrong way.
2-0 it finished in Leuven and, despite the fact that was never a spot-kick, Union SG were good value for that scoreline.
Will Karel Geraerts’ side now make that advantage count as they travel to the bear-pit that is Ibrox?
Before last Tuesday, USG hadn’t featured in European competition since a first round defeat to Juventus in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 58 years ago.
Nevertheless, having finished second in Belgium last season, as a newly-promoted club no less, they’re guaranteed to feature in a first-ever UEFA group stage.
Now, with a two-goal advantage in their backpocket, les Unionistes are more than hopeful of getting through this tie.
Rangers meanwhile got all the way to the Europa League Final last season, eliminating Borussia Dortmund, Crvena zvezda, Braga and RB Leipzig en route.
However, the Gers haven’t qualified for the Champions League group stages since 2010, winning just one of their last 23 matches in Europe’s top-tier competition.
This includes being dumped out in this round by Malmö 12 months ago.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side though are unbeaten in six European home games, winning five of them, so haven’t give up hope of a memorable comeback.
The reward for whoever prevails is a Champions League play-off round clash with PSV Eindhoven or Monaco.
The consolation prize for the losers is direct entry into the Europa League group phase.