Gascoigne drives on Rangers

Rangers 2 Borussia Dortmund 2
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The Independent Online

Scottish enterprise came close to upsetting Teutonic organisation and efficiency as Rangers secured their first point in the Champions' League on a night of tension and drama here.

In terms of chances created - 15 shots on goal against the Germans' seven - Rangers should have won. However, the Scottish champions once again discovered the dangers of European football where opposing teams are invariably capable of the more clinical finish.

The Germans struck twice and while Rangers held sway for much of the second half they could only twice force the ball past Stefan Klos. The key to Rangers' performance was the availability after injury of Richard Gough who played a captain's part and scored the first equaliser. Indeed the ferocity of the Rangers attacks in the second half disorientated the Germans who suffered greatly after the loss through injury of Julio Cesar, the Brazilian defender, on 53 minutes. Until then Dortmund contained Rangers and scored in the 18th minute through a powerful header by Heiko Herrlich.

In the first half, Rangers were unfortunate not to equalise when, first, Klos pushed over a Gough overhead kick and then the underside of the bar rescued the Germans from a deflected Charlie Miller shot.

With Ian Ferguson replacing Brian Laudrup at half time, Rangers' vigour was renewed and, in particular, Paul Gascoigne decided to take it upon himself to save the cause. His close control and vision created a series of chances, including the telling pass for each of the Rangers goals. In the 52nd minute his finely weighted ball found Gordon Durie in space but the outstretched leg of Klos denied the former Tottenham striker. A Gascoigne free-kick 10 minutes later found Gough whose header sailed into the net.

The Germans retained their composure long enough for Martin Kree to flash a near-post header past Goram in the 68th minute before Rangers rallied to produce a stunning reply. In the 77th minute Ferguson supplied the finishing touch to a Gascoigne cross to bring the house down with the second equaliser.

Gascoigne's contribution garnered praise from the Rangers manager, Walter Smith. "It was Paul's best display for us so far - he played exceptionally well. He needs those types of games and he stood out," he said.

"He's shown it in flashes before, but tonight he sustained it over the whole game."

On the evidence of their evening's work Rangers have every right to believe they are at least as good as the German champions but their ambitions face an altogether sterner test in the next two matches, with back-to- back meetings with Juventus.

Rangers (3-5-2): Goram; Wright, Gough, Petric; Durie (Durrant 74), Miller, McCall, Gascoigne, Cleland; McCoist, Laudrup (Ferguson, h-t).

Borussia Dortmund (3-5-2): Klos; Kohler, Sammer, Julio Cesar (Schmidt, 53); Reuter, Freund, Moller (Tretschok, 83), Zorc, Kree; Ricken (Berger, 79), Herrlich.

Referee: J Uilenberg (Neth).