Ferguson's penalty rescues Rangers

Rangers 1 Feyenoord 1
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The Independent Football

Barry Ferguson handed Rangers a Uefa Cup lifeline by steering in an 81st-minute penalty which averted a costly defeat in last night's fourth round first leg at Ibrox. However, the deflection from the former Feyenoord defender Bert Konterman which sent Shinji Ono's shot into the home net has left Alex McLeish's side balanced precariously as they head to Rotterdam next week.

The temperature at Ibrox before kick-off belied the rain which drenched Glasgow, with the 2,000 Feyenoord fans taunting the home support with masses of green and white scarves and Celtic strips. Matters turned very ugly, as Dutch supporters tried to break into a neighbouring home area in a furious fist fight which needed over 50 policemen to sort out.

Keeping Pierre van Hooijdonk under lock and key was the sole concern of the Rangers defence. The former Celtic striker was shadowed everywhere by Lorenzo Amoruso and was restricted to one glimpse of goal, which he squandered by steering a header from Bonaventure Kalou's cross over the bar.

At the other end Rangers enjoyed plenty of pressure, but Tore Andre Flo wasted their best chance by heading over from point-blank range.

Feyenoord's confidence surged after the interval as their composed passing began to open up Rangers. Jon Dahl Tomasson threatened Stefan Klos just before the hour with a fierce right-foot shot which the Ibrox side's goalkeeper turned over the bar.

Tomasson, the former Newcastle striker, was a constant threat and, after Amoruso brought him down, Van Hooijdonk whipped a 30-yard free-kick over the wall which Klos saved superbly. However, Feyenoord would not be denied. Ono burst forward in the 72nd minute and hit a right-foot shot which deflected off Konterman on its way past Klos.

Nine minutes later, Rangers restored parity. Peter Lovenkrands' run encountered Glenn Loovens inside the box and, though the penalty award looked soft, Ferguson coolly beat Edwin Zoetebier.

McLeish, the Rangers manager, admitted: "We lacked a little bit of finesse in the final third, but you have got to give Feyenoord credit. They were tough and strong."

Rangers (4-3-3): Klos; Ricksen, Amoruso, Vidmar, Numan; Konterman, Ferguson, Hughes (Latapy, 82); Caniggia, Flo (Mols, 59), Lovenkrands. Substitutes not used: McGregor (gk), McCann, Dodds, Kanchelskis, Ross.

Feyenoord (4-4-2): Zoetebier; Emerton, Loovens, Paauwe, Rzasa; Kalou (Van Persie, 57), Van Wonderen, Bosvelt, Ono; Tomasson, Van Hooijdonk. Substitutes not used: Timmer (gk), Gyan, Aros, Smolarek, Korneev, Dos Santos.

Referee: E Poulat (France).