Football: Mols injury increases Rangers' misfortune

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THE SATISFACTION that Rangers were able to derive from their performance in a desperately unlucky 1-0 defeat by Bayern Munich on Wednesday was undermined by a serious injury to their leading goal-scorer Michael Mols. To the insult of elimination from the Champions' League was added the knee injury suffered by the Dutch striker. A scan is expected to confirm that he will be missing for months rather than weeks.

Under a foreign coach and with only one Scot in the team, Rangers have begun to give the impression of broadening the horizons beyond the merely parochial. Beating Parma in a European campaign that began on 28 July, then doing the double over PSV Eindhoven and twice outplaying last season's beaten finalists, Bayern, they deserved better reward than a back-door ticket to the Uefa Cup. A decent run in that competition, strong as the field now is, would nevertheless engender further confidence and experience, which will be invaluable for what seems certain to be another European Cup campaign - the club's 21st - next season.

From the time that Thomas Strunz put away a harshly awarded penalty after 32 minutes until the last few minutes, the home side did not have a scoring chance. Rangers, in contrast, hit the post or bar three times in search of the draw that would have put them in the last 16.