Goalscorer Lee McCulloch and David Weir are dejected at full-time
By Keir Murray
Rangers' chances of reaching the knock-out stages of the Champions League were dealt a blow as Marius Onofras blasted home a stunning 88th-minute leveller.
Lee McCulloch had put the visitors ahead 11 minutes from time with a ferocious dipping right-foot shot.
A Kevin Thomson free-kick and a Kyle Lafferty curler gave Rangers hope in the first half, before Kenny Miller spurned a great chance from six yards.
Allan McGregor was in top form, saving from Vasile Maftei and Sorin Frunza.
Seventeen-year-old Danny Wilson made his Champions League debut, partnering David Weir, his senior by 22 years, in the centre of defence.
The pressure was on the Scottish champions to produce a win as defeat would have ended their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
The Romanian champions began the match the stronger, troubling Rangers down the left with their crisp passing and swift movement.
Rangers, though, had the first clear strike on goal when Thomson rifled in a left-foot curling free-kick which skidded off the greasy surface and was chested clear by Giedrius Arlauskis, back in goal at the expense of Daniel Tudor.
Midway through the opening period Frunza landed a cross on the head of Unirea's centre-forward Marius Bilasco who knocked it wide under pressure from Weir.
The match had been moved 25km south to Bucharest as Unirea's own 7,000-capacity ground was deemed unsuitable for hosting a Champions League match.
And the Rangers fans in the Steaua Stadium were encouraged when Arlauskis dived at the feet of Miller just two yards out as he attempted to connect with a cross, then seconds later Naismith's looping header from 12 yards floated into the arms of the Lithuanian stopper.
Rangers' Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty was cautioned for a sliding challenge on Dacian Varga and from the resultant free-kick McGregor parried wonderfully from Maftei's piledriver.
After half an hour a run by Miller typified the open nature of the game. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal he raced through the Romanian defence but found Arlauskis equal to his left-foot shot from 10 yards.
The enthusiastic decoy runs made by Stevens Naismith and Davis will have pleased manager Smith.
Rangers fans and home stewards clash at half-time in Bucharest
Frunza teased the Rangers defence just inside the box as the home side threatened once more.
He created enough space to shoot but when the ball took a ricochet off Wilson, McGregor was at full stretch to tip the ball wide.
Onofras, on as a substitute for Tiberiu Balan, hit a speculative 40-yard effort that had panic welling in McGregor's chest as he raced back to his goal-line.
Unfortunately for the hosts, the ball landed on top of McGregor's net.
As the players prepared to take a breather at the end of a pulsating first half, McCulloch instigated a slick move by the visitors.
He drove from central midfield, passed to Miller and his flick found Lafferty, who cushioned the ball and struck a shot a yard wide of the left-hand post.
After the interval, which was marred by a clash between Rangers fans and the home stewards, Miller will curse the weak connection he made with the ball in front of goal.
Davis, with a typically intelligent pass, dinked the ball through to his team-mate in the congested Unirea penalty area and from the corner of the six-yard box the Scotland striker hit a tame shot at Arlauskis.
From a Frunza cross on the right Onofras stretched his neck to glance a header that tested McGregor's alertness, Rangers aware that a late goal for Unirea would, in effect, end their interest in the tournament.
With the pace of the match taking a momentary dip, Rangers took the lead in dramatic fashion.
McCulloch, scorer of an own goal in the home leg against the Romanians, found time and space to lash a right-foot shot from 22 yards beyond the Unirea keeper, its bounce in front of goal aiding its passage.
With three precious points in their grasp, Onofras stunned Rangers with a goal two minutes from time.
At the edge of the box Bilasco controlled a long ball forward, touching it into the path of the sub who blasted an immense shot into the top corner of the net.
In the dying seconds, Sasa Papac just failed to connect with a cross and, with that chance, Rangers' dreams of making the last 16 look to have ended.
To nab second spot, they now must beat Stuttgart at Ibrox and take at least a point in Seville and hope scores in the other matches go their way.
Live text and stats
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
18 Gomes (Paduretu 81)
21 Balan (Onofras 30)
07 Bilasco yellow card
09 Varga (Semedo 81)
66 Wilson yellow card
08 Thomson (Fleck 85)
18 Miller (Novo 81)
27 Lafferty yellow card
Ref: Bo LarsenAtt: 15,000
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:50 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+2:56 Inswinging corner taken by Sorin Frunza from the right by-line.
90:00+1:51 John Fleck takes a inswinging corner.
90:00+1:20 Corner taken left-footed by John Fleck to the near post, Pablo Brandan manages to make a clearance.
89:48 Corner from the right by-line taken by John Fleck, Close range shot by Sasa Papac goes wide of the left-hand upright.
87:48 GOAL - Marius Onofras:Unirea Urziceni 1 - 1 Rangers Marius Onofras gets on the score sheet with a goal from outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Unirea
Urziceni 1-1 Rangers.
86:44 Nacho Novo takes a shot. Save by Giedrius Arlauskis.
86:11 Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu takes a shot and missed to the left of the net.
84:30 Substitution John Fleck comes on in place of Kevin Thomson.
81:50 Razvan Paduretu takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin Thomson.
80:32 Substitution Nacho Novo replaces Kenny Miller.
80:32 Substitution (Unirea Urziceni) makes a substitution, with Razvan Paduretu coming on for Ricardo Gomes.
80:32 Substitution Dacian Varga leaves the field to be replaced by Antonio Semedo.
80:27 The ball is crossed by Kyle Lafferty.
78:00 GOAL - Lee McCulloch:Unirea Urziceni 0 - 1 Rangers A goal is scored by Lee McCulloch from outside the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Unirea Urziceni 0-1 Rangers.
76:41 Booking The referee books Danny Wilson for unsporting behaviour.
75:53 Danny Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Bilasco. Sorin Frunza takes the direct free kick.
74:17 Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
73:39 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Sorin Frunza played to the near post.
71:55 Ricardo Gomes concedes a free kick for a foul on Kyle Lafferty. Direct free kick taken by Lee McCulloch.
70:35 Corner taken by Kevin Thomson, Headed from the edge of the area by Kyle Lafferty goes wide of the left-hand post.
69:47 Marius Onofras takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
69:23 Sorin Frunza fouled by Sasa Papac, the ref awards a free kick. Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu restarts play with the free kick.
69:06 Free kick taken by David Weir.
68:03 Booking Marius Bilasco goes into the book.
67:46 The ball is delivered by Kevin Thomson, Vasile Maftei manages to make a clearance.
65:07 Steven Naismith concedes a free kick for a foul on Pablo Brandan. Giedrius Arlauskis restarts play with the free kick.
62:00 David Weir gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marius Bilasco. Vasile Maftei produces a strike on goal direct
from the free kick, blocked by Ricardo Gomes.
61:19 Kenny Miller takes a shot. Save made by Giedrius Arlauskis.
58:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Lafferty on Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu. Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu takes the direct free kick.
Correction - 57:15 Lee McCulloch takes a shot. George Galamaz gets a block in.
57:15 Kyle Lafferty takes a shot. Blocked by George Galamaz.
55:44 Sasa Papac produces a cross.
55:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu on Kyle Lafferty. Sasa Papac restarts play with the free kick.
54:01 Sorin Frunza takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
48:48 Shot from 35 yards by Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu missed to the right of the goal.
47:44 Pablo Brandan concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Naismith. Kevin Thomson crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance
by George Galamaz.
46:13 Sorin Frunza takes a shot from 35 yards and missed to the right of the goal.
45:33 Kenny Miller is ruled offside. Pablo Brandan takes the free kick.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:00+1:00 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
42:58 Shot from outside the box by Kyle Lafferty goes wide right of the target.
42:31 Centre by Ricardo Gomes, David Weir manages to make a clearance.
42:17 Steven Whittaker takes a shot. Blocked by George Galamaz.
39:11 Marius Bilasco takes a shot.
Correction - 37:11 Shot from long range by Marius Onofras goes over the bar.
37:11 Effort on goal by Iulian Apostol from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
35:31 The ball is crossed by Pablo Brandan.
33:59 Dacian Varga has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
Correction - 32:09 Sorin Frunza takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save. Corner taken by Sorin Frunza from the right by-line, clearance by
32:09 Sorin Frunza takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor. Inswinging corner taken by Sorin Frunza, clearance by Kenny Miller.
29:38 Kenny Miller takes a shot. Giedrius Arlauskis makes a save.
29:08 Substitution Marius Onofras on for Tiberiu Balan.
28:52 Unfair challenge on David Weir by Marius Bilasco results in a free kick. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
27:15 Strike comes in from Vasile Maftei from the free kick, save by Allan McGregor.
27:15 Booking Caution for Kyle Lafferty.
27:02 Kyle Lafferty concedes a free kick for a foul on Dacian Varga.
26:45 The ball is swung over by Steven Davis, Pablo Brandan makes a clearance.
25:59 Steven Naismith takes a shot. Save by Giedrius Arlauskis.
25:49 A cross is delivered by Steven Naismith, save by Giedrius Arlauskis.
23:40 The official flags Marius Bilasco offside. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.
22:36 Sorin Frunza delivers the ball, Marius Bilasco takes a shot. Blocked by David Weir. Corner taken left-footed by Sorin Frunza.
22:07 Kenny Miller is caught offside. Pablo Brandan takes the indirect free kick.
21:19 Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu. Giedrius Arlauskis takes the direct
19:17 The referee gives a free kick against Kenny Miller for handball. Free kick taken by Ricardo Gomes.
Correction - 18:00 The ball is sent over by Steven Whittaker, Steven Naismith takes a shot. Giedrius Arlauskis makes a save.
18:00 The ball is crossed by Steven Whittaker, Kenny Miller takes a shot. Giedrius Arlauskis makes a save.
15:15 Shot from just outside the box by Dacian Varga goes over the crossbar.
13:11 Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Davis, George Galamaz makes a clearance.
11:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin Thomson by Iulian Apostol. Shot comes in from Kevin Thomson from the free
kick, save by Giedrius Arlauskis.
9:13 The ball is delivered by Iulian Apostol, Danny Wilson manages to make a clearance. Corner from right by-line taken by Sorin
8:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tiberiu Balan on Kevin Thomson. Indirect free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
7:14 Tiberiu Balan takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
5:42 Valeriu Ionut Bordeanu produces a cross, clearance by David Weir.
2:50 Pablo Brandan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith. Kevin Thomson takes the free kick.
2:17 The ball is sent over by Pablo Brandan.
1:28 Kenny Miller is caught offside. Free kick taken by Pablo Brandan.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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