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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 21:56 GMT
Rangers 1-1 Osasuna
By Clive Lindsay

Brahim Hemdani (right) celebrates his late goal at Ibrox
Brahim Hemdani scored a late equaliser for Rangers
Brahim Hemdani's late equaliser prevented a disjointed Rangers slumping to defeat by Osasuna in the first leg of the last-16 Uefa Cup tie at Ibrox.

Escudero Raul Garcia's cleverly flicked header, which flew into the far corner of the net after 17 minutes, was reward for the Spanish side's early dominance.

Stefan Klos twice saved superbly to prevent Inaki Munoz adding a second for Osasuna after the break.

But Hemdani curled in a beautiful, 22-yard drive to square the scores.

Osasuna defeated Rangers 2-1 on aggregate after a single-goal defeat at Ibrox in their first foray into Europe in 1985 and must be odds on to repeat that feat.

Yet their present side had been weakened by injuries to strike duo Savo Milosevic and Roberto Soldado, along with Valdo and Ludovic Delporte, while fellow midfielder Pintxa Pinal was suspended.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Klos made his first start in Rangers' goal for 12 months in place of the suspended Allan McGregor.

And skipper Barry Ferguson was equalling Ibrox legend John Greig's record of 64 appearances in Europe.

But it was an unhappy start for the pair as Rangers were pushed back in defence by a side that had lost their last three league fixtures.

Jiminez Carlos Cuellar had already bulleted a header straight at Klos from 12 yards before the visitors took the lead.

Osasuna celebrate Raul Garcia's early goal at Ibrox
Raul Garcia gave Osasuna an early lead at Ibrox

Juanlo flighted a ball into the box that was flicked on by the head of Raul Garcia and beyond the flailing Klos at the back post.

And it got worse for Rangers when captain Ferguson received a yellow card for an elbow that rules him out of the second leg in Pamplona.

Raul Garcia looped a header over the bar after being found unmarked 16 yards from Rangers' goal as Osasuna were again the better side after the break.

Munoz was next to be found in the clear but Klos produced a superb, one-handed save to block the midfielder's low drive from the edge of the box.

It took a misplaced clearance by Cuellar that flew a couple of yards over the bar from a Nacho Novo cross to spark some Rangers pressure.

Thomson forced Ricardo into a fine save with a powerful 22-yard drive following a corner.

But Klos again did well to stand up to Munoz after a quick break gave the midfielder a chance to shoot from 15 yards.

Osasuna looked like comfortably seeing out the remaining minutes until Hemdani picked up a loose clearance to drive in a stoppage-time equaliser that give Rangers hope for the second leg.


Rangers: Klos, Weir, Ehiogu, Murray, Hutton, Thomson (Prso 66), Ferguson, Hemdani, Burke, Adam (Novo 46), Boyd (Sebo 87).
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Svensson, Rae, Sionko.

Booked: Ferguson, Hutton.

Goal: Hemdani 90.

Osasuna: Ricardo, Izquierdo, Miguel Flano, Cuellar, Monreal, Raul Garcia, David Lopez, Juanlu (Juanfran 77), Munoz, Nekounam, Webo (Romeo 82). Subs Not Used: Elia, Cruchaga, Josetxo, Javier Flano, Hector Font.

Booked: Juanlu, Raul Garcia, David Lopez.

Goals: Raul Garcia 17.

Att: 50,290

Ref: Jan Wegereef (Netherlands)

SEE ALSO
Uefa Cup clockwatch
08 Mar 07 |  Europe
Thursday's Uefa Cup photos
08 Mar 07 |  Football


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