Rangers knock out Servette to keep Champions League dream alive

A playoff game against PSV Eindhoven now stands between Rangers and the group stages.

Rangers knock out Servette to keep Champions League dream alive with draw in Geneva SNS Group

Rangers have knocked-out Servette to keep their Champions League dream alive with a 1-1 draw in Switzerland.

The Ibrox club now face reunion with PSV Eindhoven in the playoffs a year after they beat the Dutch giants at the same stage of the continent’s flagship competition.

Captain James Tavernier was again the hero for Michael Beale’s side when he headed home a second-half equaliser during an exciting game in Geneva on Tuesday night.

The first half-chance of the game fell to Jose Cifuentes inside the Servette box but the Ecuadorian midfielder failed to connect properly and the defence were able to scramble it clear.

Jack Butland was the hero soon after when he pulled off a great save from Enzo Crivelli who would have felt he should have scored.

Rangers were then claiming a penalty up the other end when Todd Cantwell was fouled, but the tackle, that led to Gael Ondua being booked, was just outside the box.

After an end-to-end start the deadlock was finally broken when Dereck Kutesa curled a fantastic effort into the top right-hand corner of Butland’s goal to put the home-side ahead on the night and even in the tie.

The Scottish side should have been level on the half-hour but Brazilian forward Danilo blazed over the bar with an empty goal gaping after a terrific ball in from Cifuentes.

Butland was again the one to thank for keeping them in it with another great save and the game continued to ebb and flow during a pulsating first-half in Switzerland.

Rangers were much better after the break and they found themselves back in front in the tie just five minutes into the second-half when Tavernier popped up at the back-post to head home and make it 1-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

The goal, which came after an inch-perfect cross from Borna Barisic, was the right-back’s 103rd for the Ibrox club since joining in 2015.

And they nearly put the tie to bed when Cyriel Dessers met a Nico Raskin cross in the six-yard box but his header sailed just over the bar with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Dessers again came agonisingly close following good work in the build-up but the Nigeria forward’s effort hit the inside of the post and Cantwell was unable to connect with the rebound.

But the draw was enough to seal a 3-2 aggregate victory that sets up a play-off round clash against PSV who beat Sturm Graz 7-2 on aggregate.

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