Taffarel's tenacity keeps out Rangers

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The Independent Football

Rangers failed to resume control of Champions' League Group D after being held by the Turkish champions Galatasaray at Ibrox last night.

Rangers failed to resume control of Champions' League Group D after being held by the Turkish champions Galatasaray at Ibrox last night.

The Glasgow side knew a victory would all but guarantee progression to the next phase but, with no Michael Mols to lead the attack, they lacked the necessary verve up front to avenge the Turks' 3-2 win in Istanbul three weeks ago. Rangers must now travel to Austria next week and gather at least a point from Sturm Graz to remain confident of extending this European adventure beyond Christmas.

The Rangers manager, Dick Advocaat, sprung yet another surprise with his selection for this Champions' League campaign, bringing in the Danish winger Peter Lovenkrands for Billy Dodds, who was left on the bench, and replacing the suspended Lorenzo Amoruso with his compatriot Sergio Porrini.

Advocaat's side manufactured the first clear scoring opportunity after nine minutes, Jörg Albertz bisecting the Galatasaray defence with a beautifully weighted pass to send Tony Vidmar scampering into the penalty area. But the Australian's first touch was poor and Gheorghe Popescu recovered to block his shot.

Galatasaray were, as ever, relying on the mercurial talents of Gheorghe Hagi, and the veteran playmaker began to exert his influence as the first half progressed. A succession of accurate crosses seeking the head of Mario Jardel were delivered into the Rangers box, forcing Porrini and Bert Konterman into some flustered defending to remove the danger.

The Rangers midfield did finally test Galatasaray's goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel four minutes into the second half with Barry Ferguson's 20-yard effort. The young Scotland international was denied again in the 71st minute after unleashing a right-foot curler from 30 yards, and the Brazilian goalkeeper saved the Turks once more when he blocked a close-range header from the Rangers substitute Neil McCann late on.

Rangers: Klos, Reyna, Konterman, Porrini, Vidmar (Wilson, 71), Kanchelskis, Ferguson, Tugay, Albertz, De Boer, Lovenkrands (McCann, 55). Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Dodds, Miller, Negri, Ross.

Galatasaray: Taffarel, Popescu, Hakan, Fatih, Bulent Korkmaz, Bulent Akin, Ergun, Umit, Hagi (Okan, 71), Hasan, Jardel (Marcio, 86). Substitutes not used: Kerem (gk), Serkan, Faruk, Emre Asik, Capone.

Referee: M Merk (Germany).

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