Football: Shoot-out exit stuns Rangers

Borussia Dortmund 2 Rangers 0 Aet; 2-2 on aggregate Dortmund win 3-1 on penalties
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The Independent Online
JENS LEHMANN, Borussia Dortmund's goalkeeper, came between Rangers and a place in the fourth round of the Uefa Cup yesterday just when it seemed they had done enough to survive a German onslaught in this second leg.

Rangers, who had won the first leg in Glasgow 2-0, were trailing 1-0 as the clock ticked down in injury time. When the Dortmund goalkeeper went upfield to join the pursuit of an equaliser, he remarkably - and somewhat fortuitously - set up Fredi Bobic for the goal that took the tie into extra time.

Rangers held themselves together through the goalless extra half an hour, but then fell apart when faced with the task of beating Lehmann from the penalty spot in the decisive shoot-out. The goalkeeper saved three spot- kicks and Dortmund, the former European champions, were through.

A dejected Lorenzo Amoruso, the Rangers captain and only successful penalty- taker, said nothing went right. "It was a cruel way to lose. Everything went the other way for us today," he said. "They scored twice with the second goal in injury time. We lost two stupid goals, missed a great chance to score ourselves in extra time then were unfortunate with the penalties."

Rangers' anticipated injury problems eased with Claudio Reyna, Jorg Albertz and Rod Wallace all proving themselves fit enough to start. By contrast Dortmund, without a win in 10 games, were without several key players, including Jurgen Kohler, Andreas Moller, Giuseppe Reina and Evanilson.

Dortmund, fighting for their fans' respect and the survival of their young coach, Michael Skibbe, after a poor run of form, soon put Rangers on the back foot. They halved the aggregate deficit in the 29th minute when Christian Worns' corner was headed in by Victor Ikpeba.

Albertz, who had been having pain-killing injections on his ankle injury, did not reappear in the second half, being replaced by Gordon Durie.

As the second half progressed, Rangers began to look more confident. But Dortmund sensationally pulled level on aggregate in stoppage time when their substitute, Bobic, knocked the ball in after it had bounced to him from Lehmann. The goalkeeper had missed the ball with his own attempt at a shot, but it rebounded off his standing leg.

Rangers had a scare eight minutes into extra time when Bobic found space but he blazed the ball high over the bar. McCann should have given Rangers the lead on aggregate three minutes later. However, when Tony Vidmar played the ball into his path, he shot wide from almost on the goal-line. Then Amoruso tested Lehmann with a fierce shot from 35 yards.

There would be no breakthrough, though, and the tie went to penalty kicks. Rangers paid for their disappointing overall display with Lehmann saving from Van Bronckhorst, Arthur Numan and Claudio Reyna.

Borussia Dortmund: Lehmann; Reuter, Worns, Nijhuis, Stevic (Tanko, 72), Nerlinger, Ricken (Barbarez, 82), But, Addo, Herrlich (Bobic, 62), Ikpeba.

Rangers: Myhre; Moore, Amoruso, Adamczuk (Kanchelskis, 90), Numan, Reyna, Ferguson, Van Bronckhorst, Albertz (Durie, h-t), McCann, Wallace (Vidmar, 90).

Referee: Sarvan Oguz (Turkey).

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