Osijek 0-1 Rangers: Morelos strike gives Gers the advantage in Europa League qualifier
Rangers took a step towards qualification for the next round in their UEFA Europa League qualifying campaign after they beat Osijek 1-0 in the first leg of the second round of qualifiers on Thursday.
Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos, who has been at the receiving end of some flak of late, proved to be the difference maker in the tie, as his brilliant headed goal in the 18th minute was enough for the Gers to return home with an advantage.
Rangers Player Ratings
Allan McGregor – 8/10
The 36-year-old continues to prove his worth, with another accomplished performance between the sticks. Made crucial saves on either side of half-time to keep another clean sheet.
James Tavernier – 6/10
Great delivery leading up to the only goal of the game. Didn’t show his usual endeavour going forward but was solid against the dangerous Alen Grgic and Borna Barisic.
Connor Goldson – 7.5/10
There were a few occasions early in the game when the home team threatened but the new signing stood up to everything that came his way. Strong in the air, calm on the ball, a vocal presence at the back.
Nikola Katic – 7/10
Returning to his homeland, the young defender put in another strong display alongside Goldson in the heart of the defence. Alert to threat and composed, the young man is growing with each game.
Jon Flanagan – 6.5/10
Fluffed his lines on one occasion and had to be bailed out by the keeper. Solid and dependable otherwise, without offering a great deal of attacking threat.
Ryan Jack – 7/10
The Scotsman has come into his own in the past couple of games and put in another mature, confident display in the defensive midfield area.
Lassana Coulibaly – 5/10
Looked a touch off the pace – which was expected given it was his first game of the season. Showed good work-rate post the break but will need to do more moving forward.
Ovie Ejaria – 6/10
Sat deeper in the middle than usual and always looked to pass forward when in possession. There were a couple of moments when he looked careless though.
Ryan Kent – 6/10
Played a key role in the lead-up to the opening goal and worked hard throughout the game. Didn’t look razor-sharp, given it was his first appearance but showed glimpses of his potential.
Jamie Murphy – 6/10
Put in a strong shift but couldn’t have the same effect in the final third as he usually does. Didn’t see the ball enough and was subbed off midway through the second period.
Alfredo Morelos – 8/10
Scored the all-important away goal with a brilliant header. Great hold-up play at the top, ran the channels well and worked really hard after being the target of some recent criticism.
Josh Windass – 5/10
Replaced Murphy in the 67th minute. Put in a decent shift.
Ross McCrorie – N/A
On for Ejaria with just over ten minutes left. Shored things up.
Glenn Middleton – N/A
Injury-time substitute for Morelos.
Here’s how the fans reacted to Rangers’ crucial win in the first leg of the tie.
— BlueRyu (@Ryan_H84) July 26, 2018
Massive win! Let’s go 🔴⚪️🔵
— Tom Clarter 🏴 (@t0mcarter) July 26, 2018
That’s a Rangers of old performance tonight; some areas for improvement but well organised and thoroughly professional. To come away from Croatia with a lead and clean sheet is absolutely outstanding and exceeded my expectations. Well done Rangers 🇬🇧
— Douglas Kinnear (@Dougiek85) July 26, 2018
Brilliant result 🔴⚪️🔵 thank fuck we can defend corners again 💪🏼
— RyanMcLeod (@TheRyanMcLeod) July 26, 2018
Team beginning to gel quite nicely now, central defence pairing of Goldson and Katic look superb at the back, calm and composed. Kent looks a player, just needs game time. #letsgo
— Richard Clark (@richard_clark82) July 26, 2018
Feed the buffalo and he shall score…. 💙
— Jamie Mcintosh91 (@JMcintosh91) July 26, 2018
Perfect performance away from home it seems. Gerrard’s experience in his playing career seems to be shining through.
— Matinho (@WoodburnFlair) July 26, 2018