The victory maintained Rangers' perfect European home record against Portuguese opponents - now five wins in five games since 1971 - and ultimately rewarded the starting line-up chosen by their manager, Alex McLeish, which had "risky" stamped all over it.
In Hamed Namouchi and Peter Lovenkrands, respectively out injured and out of sorts of late, Rangers had the provider and scorer of their first goal, a bouncing ball lofted in after a darting run.
In Francis Jeffers, given a first start, they had a lively foil to a below-par Dado Prso, although the Croatian striker did head Rangers' second after Pepe had made it 1-1 with a header from a corner shortly after the interval.
Olivier Bernard, given a debut at left-back, also represented a "calculated gamble", McLeish said afterwards. Rangers' defending at times was sloppy, as when Pepe scored from another corner, with another header, for 2-2. But then without the intervention of Kyrgiakos, who was picked ahead of several other candidates at centre-half, Rangers would have fewer points, perhaps even none.
"The players showed great spirit, great determination," McLeish said, when asked if he was happy with the response to recent limp domestic Scottish Premier League results that have yielded four points from a possible 12.He added: "I don't dispute that Porto are a better technical team than us. We needed to get among them, and we did."
Rangers (4-4-2): Waterreus; Ricksen, Rodriguez, Kyrgiakos, Bernard; Namouchi (Novo, 72), Ferguson, Murray, Lovenkrands (Buffel, 56); Prso, Jeffers (Thompson, 84). Substitutes not used: Klos (gk), Andrews, Rae, Pierre-Fanfan.
Porto (4-3-3): Vitor Baia; Pepe, Ricardo Costa, Emanuel (Sonkaya, 41), Cesar Peixoto; Lucho Gonzalez, Diego (Quaresma, 65), Ibson; Alan (Almeida, 65), Sokota, Jorginho. Substitutes not used: Ribeiro (gk), Lisandro, Assuncao, Cech.
Referee: J Wegereef (Netherlands).Reuse content