Mols regrets missed chance to secure leading edge

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The Independent Football

The Rangers striker Michael Mols has admitted his side's "stupid" decision to sit back against 10-man Panathinaikos may cut short their Champions' League campaign.

The Scots were just three minutes away from becoming only the fourth side in the competition's history to beat the Greek side on their home soil on Wednesday night. But Pantelis Konstantinidis bundled the ball home from close range to cancel out a first-half opener from Emerson to put the home side level after they had been a man down for more than half an hour.

The result took Rangers to the top of Group E as Manchester United were beaten 2-1 in Stuttgart. But the Scottish side have never yet made it past the initial group stage and Mols fears the two points dropped in Athens could turn prove vital.

He said: "It was just stupid what we did. It could be very costly at the end of the campaign, although we still have everything in our own hands. We didn't push up. You have to put them under pressure, especially if you are playing against 10 men, but they got back into the game and did well. Beforehand we would have been happy with a one-each draw, but after the sending-off we should have got the result."

The next Champions' League fixture at Ibrox is the most eagerly anticipated in years, the visit of Sir Alex Ferguson's United on 22 October. The Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, who played under Ferguson at Aberdeen, is confident of making the most of home advantage.

He said: "I think people thought Manchester United would run away with it. But Stuttgart's win proves that on their day every team will be a threat in this group, especially on their own ground.

"We have got ourselves in a good position, and the next game is at Ibrox. It should be interesting.".š