Porto 1 Rangers 1

Breathing space for McLeish as Rangers keep hopes alive

Lisa Gray
Thursday 24 November 2005 01:26

A Ross McCormack equaliser seven minutes from time rescued Rangers in Oporto last night and relieved the pressure on their manager, Alex McLeish. The draw keeps them second in Group H, with a chance of becoming the first Scottish team to qualify for the Champions' League knock-out stages.

"I've been asked what staying in Europe means to Rangers," McLeish said. "It means I might keep my job, for a start. "Any manager at any club has a shelf life," he continued, "although you could maybe exclude Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United." Ironically, it was reported last night that Rangers are considering Ferguson as a replacement for McLeish should the crisis at Old Trafford continue.

Lisandro Lopez gave Porto the lead on the hour, heading home Jose Bosingwa's cross, butMcCormack, then drilled in a left-foot shot from Chris Burke's pass. A win at home to Internazionale next month would ensure Rangers' progress. The Italians beat Artmedia Bratislava 4-0 last night.

Porto: Baia; Peixoto, Pepe, Emanuel (Almeida, h-t), Bosingwa, Diego (Alves, 64), Assuncao, Gonzalez, Quaresma, Lopez, Jorginho. Substitutes not used: Helton, Costa, Ibson, McCarthy, Ivanildo.

Rangers: Waterreus; Murray, Kyrgiakos, Andrews, Ricksen, Lovenkrands (Burke, 77), Ferguson, Hemdani, Alex Rae (Thompson, 61), Namouchi, Jeffers (McCormack, 75). Substitutes not used: Klos, Malcolm, Pierre-Fanfan, Hutton.

Referee: H Fandel (Germany).

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