Wednesday, September 15, 1999 Published at 21:51 GMT 22:51 UK
Rangers crash in Spain
Gabriel Amato troubles the Valencia defence without reward
Valencia 2-0 Rangers
Rangers Champions League opener provided their fans with a familiar European story of missed opportunities and defensive lapses.
But a Craig Moore own goal gave the home side the lead before they settled matters on 75 minutes through Kily Gonzalez.
It was a disappointing result for the in form Scots - unbeaten at home this season - against a side struggling for form in their own league.
Rangers were unchanged from the side that defeated Aberdeen 3-0 last Saturday with Argentinian striker Gabriel Amato retaining his place and partnering Michael Mols.
Charbonnier in early action
Valencia's best first half efforts were repelled by Rangers keeper Lionel Charbonnier.
He had to act smartly after six minutes to punch away a dangerous in-swinging corner from Gaizka Mendieta.
Jocelyn Angloma charged down the wing and found Argentinian striker Claudio Lopez, but his header from 10 yards was saved by the French keeper low to his right.
He was called into action again when a right wing free kick found Kily Gonzalez whose shot from over 30 yards was pushed wide.
More neat build up from the Spanish side saw Mendietta involved, but the shot was deflected and again saved by Charbonnier at full stretch.
Valencia fans also thought their side had been awarded a penalty after 21 minutes when Angloma and Lorenzo Amoruso tussled in the area but Rangers were awarded the free-kick.
Rangers build pressure
Despite the pressure from the home side, the Scots were still in the match and Vidmar dragged a shot wide of the post.
Craig Moore also headed a free kick from Giavanni van Bronckhorst wide, and Claudio Reyna went close from long range.
But on another occasion when the American broke forward he was not accompanied by enough team-mates and shot tamely with no-one supporting.
Rangers manager Dick Advocaat decided to freshen things up at half time and brought on Jorg Albertz for the ineffective Neil McCann.
Albertz was quickly into the action, latching onto a pass from Amato, but his cross was poor and was scrambled away.
Rangers' worst fears were confirmed in the 56th minute when the home side made the breakthrough.
A cross from Sanchez was knocked away one handed by Charbonnier but it spun off team-mate Craig Moore and drifted over the line, although Gonzalez tried to take the credit for the goal.
Rangers had a narrow escape in the 61st minute when a shot from Angloma bounced off the chest of Charbonnier and into the path of Lopez, who knocked it home.
The referree ruled it out for infringement, although there was no denying Valencia a second, or Gonzalez a goal with 15 minutes to go.
His thunderous shot from the edge of the area went across Charbonnier and into the corner after a neat exchange of passes with Mendieta.
Charbonnier reacted swiftly to prevent a third goal, beating away a shot from Gerard after Amoruso had carelessly lost possession.
And Rangers rarely threatened a comeback as, not for the first time, their fans' hope was cruelly extinguished at a foreign stadium.
The Scottish champions now face Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven in one of the toughest groups in the competition.
Valencia: Canizares, Pellegrino, Bjorklund, Mendieta, Lopez,
Gerard, Carboni, Sanchez, Kily Gonzalez, Angloma, Albelda. Subs:
Palop, Camarasa, Djukic, Oscar, Angulo, Ilie, Serban.