Rangers' first post-Christmas foray into Europe for nine years came to an eventful end in Feyenoord's magnificent De Kuip stadium last night.
The home side won 3-2 on the night to take the Uefa Cup fourth-round tie 4-3 on aggregate and go forward to the quarter-finals. Both sides had a man sent off, with Patrick Paauwe the first to go before Neil McCann, who had opened the scoring, also saw red.
A moment of bad defending a minute after the restart, when Bonaventure Kalou gave Feyenoord a 3-1 lead, cost Rangers dearly. Until then the Scots had looked capable of rescuing the tie despite two first-half goals from Pierre van Hooijdonk, both direct from free-kicks.
After 53 minutes Paauwe's dismissal – for a professional foul on Michael Mols which resulted in a penalty, dispatched by Barry Ferguson to make the score 3-2 – increased the chances of a famous comeback. But Rangers' extra-man advantage evaporated in the 73rd minute when McCann was sent off. He had been booked in the first half for a foul on Tomasz Rzasa and when Brett Emerton appeared to haul him down illegally he lost his temper when the free-kick went the other way. A second booking, for dissent, and his dismissal, followed.
Rangers sent Tore Andre Flo on for the final 15 minutes and a great chance was squandered by Mols, who was clean through with only the goalkeeper Edwin Zoetebier to beat yet only found the side-netting.
Much of the pre-match build-up had centred around the fitness of Ronald de Boer, who had been ruled out of the first leg with a foot injury. The former Ajax man did indeed start, as did Bert Konterman, but his arrival was no more than a red herring as he lasted just 39 minutes, being replaced by Mols.
By then Van Hooijdonk had just netted the first of his two goals. Both were from similar positions and both ended up in the right of Stefan Klos's net.
Rangers had taken the lead in the 26th minute when McCann volleyed home a quickly taken and perfectly flighted free-kick from Ferguson after De Boer had been fouled.
Alex McLeish's selection was an unpredictable one, with Tony Vidmar moved from centre-back to right-back and Scott Wilson brought in to fill the gap. Vidmar was given a torrid time by the teenage winger Robin van Persie and was booked for fouling him on the touchline after half an hour. The Australian brought him down again in the final minute of the half and Van Hooijdonk promptly scored Feyenoord's second goal. But it was Kalou's strike, only a minute later, that was decisive.
Feyenoord (4-3-3): Zoetebier; Emerton, Rzasa, Van Wonderen, Loovens (Sprockel, 87); Paauwe, Bosvelt, Ono; Kalou (Smolarek, 77), Van Persie (Elmander, 89), Van Hooijdonk. Substitutes not used: Timmer, Aros, Leonardo, Korneev.
Rangers (5-2-3): Klos; Wilson, Amoruso, Vidmar (Flo, 75), Konterman, Numan; Ferguson, De Boer (Mols, 39); McCann, Caniggia, Lovenkrands. Substitutes not used: McGregor, Kanchelskis, Ross, Hughes, Dodds.
Referee: H Fandel (Kyllburg).Reuse content