Bougherra on target as edgy Rangers draw some comfort
Stuttgart 1 Rangers 1
Madjid Bougherra's second-half equaliser salvaged a draw for Rangers in a game which for long periods looked beyond them. The Algeria international fired home a low shot into the bottom corner much to the delight of the large contingent of fans who had made the trip from Glasgow.
Rangers had been dealt a blow ahead of the game with the news that captain David Weir was ruled out through injury. Stuttgart, however, received a boost when Alexander Hleb made the starting line-up after being rated doubtful with a muscle strain.
Rangers found themselves under pressure with less than a minute on the clock when Cacau ran on to a cross from the right and drew a decent save from goalkeeper Allan McGregor, before Thomas Hitzlsperger hooked the rebound over the crossbar.
The home side threatened again when Cacau released Pavel Pogrebnyak into the box and he teed up Hleb who was denied from close range by McGregor at the near post.
However, the Rangers goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the back of the net after 18 minutes when Cacau's cut-back found Pogrebnyak who dispatched a powerful right-foot shot past McGregor. Rangers looked nervous when in possession but Steven Davis released Kenny Miller through on goal but keeper Jens Lehmann was first to the ball to snuff out the chance.
Rangers appeared more composed when they emerged for the second half and could have restored parity within a couple of minutes of the restart.
Jerome Rothen picked out Sasa Papac in front of goal and the left-back did well to hold off Matthieu Delpierre only to see his header flash across the face of goal and wide of the upright.
At the other end, a Pogrebnyak ball found Roberto Hilbert out on the right but his shot rippled the side-netting.
It was Lehmann's turn to be called into action when Miller tried his luck with a long-range effort that the Stuttgart goalkeeper managed to block at the near post. But he could not stem the tide for long. Bougherra worked a one-two with Rothen before driving past Lehmann.
Rangers could even have snatched a last-gasp victory, hitting the woodwork in the final minute of the game when a Davis shot struck the post.
Stuttgart (4-4-2): Lehmann; Trasch, Tasci, Delpierre, Boka; Hilbert, Hitzlsperger, Khedira, Hleb (Gebhart, 67); Cacau (Schieber, 88), Pogrebnyak. Substitutes not used: Ulreich (gk), Boulahrouz, Marica, Celozzi, Kuzmanovicr.
Rangers (4-5-1): McGregor; Whittaker, McCulloch, Bougherra, Papac; Naismith, Davis, Thomson, Mendes; Rothen; Miller (Novo, 90). Substitutes not used: Alexander (gk), Boyd, Beasley, Smith, Fleck, Little.
Referee: M Busacca (Switzerland).
With the top nine players in the men’s world tennis rankings all missing this tournament to prepare ...
by Gareth Purnell
21 May 2013 02:01 AM
When cyclists look back on their careers spanning many hundreds (and in some cases possibly thousand...
by Martin Ayres
20 May 2013 06:12 PM
As England’s new football strip – made by Nike – is revealed today, new research shows the English F...
by Alex Miller
20 May 2013 04:52 PM
Why Spurs will break the bank to keep Gareth Bale this summer
Jose Mourinho clear to rejoin Chelsea as departure clears the way for Real Madrid to move for Gareth Bale to become Cristiano Ronaldo's successor
Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
Manchester City begin to rebuild and rebrand for future
Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 1 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 5 Top A&E doctors warn: 'We cannot guarantee safe care for patients anymore'
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.