Rangers miss out on Women's Champions League groups after Benfica loss

A late goal from 16-year-old Emma Watson took the tie to extra time

Rangers miss out on Women’s Champions League group stage after dramatic Benfica defeat SNS Group

Rangers saw their hopes of reaching the group stage of the Women’s Champions League ended with a 2-1 defeat in extra-time to Benfica after teenage substitute Emma Watson had scored a dramatic late goal.

Benfica, defending a 3-2 lead from the first leg at Ibrox, had dominated, but failed to convert numerous chances as Rangers keeper Victoria Esson produced a string of fine saves.

With just three minutes left, 16-year-old Watson slotted in from a corner to send the tie into extra-time.

Cloe Lacasse equalised on the night early on before Lucia Alves was sent off for a second caution and Jessica Silva wrapped things up with another goal for the hosts on the break as Benfica progressed 5-3 on aggregate.

Benfica had threatened early on at the Caixa Futebol Campus, but found Esson, who dropped the ball over the line for an own goal last week, in fine form before Canada international Lacasse crashed a shot against the crossbar.

After soaking up so much pressure, Rangers sparked wild celebrations from the bench when, with just three minutes left, Watson stabbed the ball home after Benfica keeper Rute Costa failed to collect a corner, sending the tie into extra-time.

The Portuguese champions, though, were soon back in the ascendancy when Lacasse ran into the left side of the penalty area to equalise in the 92nd minute and, following the start of the second additional period, Benfica forward Alves was sent off after receiving a second caution.

Rangers felt they should have been given a penalty when Watson went down in the box, before Silva latched onto a long ball to fire the hosts in front and secure their place in the group stage.