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Friday, October 29, 1999 Published at 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK


Rangers face titanic German decider

Rangers were outclassed for large parts of the match

Rangers 1-2 Valencia

Rangers' 2-1 Champions League defeat to Valencia leaves them facing a titanic battle against Bayern Munich for the right to progress to the second phase

Dick Advocaat's men now face a daunting trip to Germany on November 3 where they must face last year's runners-up Bayern Munich.

A draw will be enough to put them through - and force the Germans out.

Valencia deserved their victory, thanks to first-half goals by Gaizka Mendieta and Argentine Claudio Lopez. The Spanish side now have nine points from four games in Group F and are assured of qualification.

Rangers hit back with a goal from Australian Craig Moore in the second half but failed to find an equaliser despite heavy pressure.


[ image: Valencia looked more prepared for battle]
Valencia looked more prepared for battle
They were undone in a first half in which they allowed Valencia to dictate the pace of the game and were consequently out-played - as they were when the sides met in Spain.

Hector Cuper's Valencia side had clearly come prepared for a scrap and they set off at a cracking pace as they took the fight to the Scots.

Mendieta looked ever-dangerous up front and 10 minutes before half-time he gave Valencia the lead, swivelling to fire a bouncing ball past Klos with his left foot.

Advocaat recognised his side's failings when he replaced McInnes with tricky Andrei Kanchelskis after Valencia had gone one ahead.

But the change had little effect.

Craig Moore was forced to make an astonishing back-pedalling recovery to clear off the line.

Late blow

Two minutes into stoppage time Barry Ferguson lost possession and Lopez beat his man before sidefooting neatly past Klos to make it 2-0.

Rangers, realising they were watching a glorious chance slip through their fingers, hit back.

They forced a succession of corners after the break and Moore managed to sidefoot the ball beyond Valencia goalkeeper Andres Pallop from close range.

Advocaat immediately sent on German Jorg Albertz to try to force an equaliser which almost came when Rod Wallace grazed a post with a header.

They still almost salvaged a point when, deep in stoppage time, Albertz slammed an angled drive just wide of the post but Valencia deservedly held out for a hard-earned victory.

Rangers still have their destiny in their hands but the grip will be a lot less firm when the arrive in Munich.

Rangers: Klos, Porrini, Amoruso, Moore, Vidmar, McInnes, Ferguson, Van Bronckhorst, McCann, Mols, Wallace.
Subs: Charbonnier, Numan, Kanchelskis, Albertz, Amato, Adamczuk, Johansson.
Valencia: Palop, Angulo, Pellegrino, Djukic, Carboni, Mendieta, Albelda, Kily Gonzalez, Ilie, Gerard, Lopez.
Subs: Bartual Molina, Farinos, Oscar, Soria Lopez, Sanchez, Milla, Fagiani.
Referee: G Benko (Austria)




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