Football: Rangers rely on the Charbonnier show

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PAOK Salonika 0 Rangers 0 Rangers win 2-0 on aggregate

RANGERS SURVIVED a torrid night in the Toumbas stadium to win this Uefa Cup second preliminary round tie. Facing a hostile home crowd and excitable, talented opponents, the Scottish side dug deep to keep their European season alive.

The French goalkeeper, Lionel Charbonnier, regularly came to Rangers' rescue to keep PAOK at bay. He made two superb stops in the first half as the Greeks, trailing 2-0 after the first leg at Ibrox two weeks ago, tried to haul themselves back into the tie.

PAOK almost went ahead when Dimitris Kapetanopoulos cut through the middle of the visitors' defence, but his shot was turned away spectacularly by Charbonnier.

The home fans were incensed when the referee, Markus Merk, refused to award a penalty when Jorg Albertz bundled over Percy Olivares in the area. A bottle was thrown on to the pitch as things threatened to turn nasty.

Charbonnier was again called into action when Kostas Fratzeskos rattled in a free-kick from 25 yards that was punched away by the Frenchman.

Rangers were riding their luck and Charbonnier was beaten for the first time in the game with seven minutes remaining, but the effort by Pantelis Kaffes from the edge of the area came back off the bar.

PAOK Salonika: Michopoulos; Bancovic, Olivares, Zafeiriou (Kaffes, 72), Kapetanopoulos, Fratzeskos, Vryzas, Toursounidis, Nakbe, Koulakiotis, Katisabis. Substitutes not used: Argyriou (gk), Vellis, Samaras, Marifaliev, Cominges, Nastos.

Rangers: Charbonnier, Porrini, Amoruso (Petric, 77), Numan, B Ferguson, Kanchelskis (Gattuso, 81), Van Bronckhorst, Albertz (Amato, 61), I Ferguson, Wallace, Moore. Substitutes not used: Niemi (gk), Johansson, Vidmar, Miller.

Referee: M Merk (Germany).