Rangers player ratings: Antonio Colak seals Champions League group stage return in stifling Eindhoven heat

The Ibrox club defeated PSV Eindhoven to book their spot at Europe's top table for the first time in more than a decade.

Rangers will play Champions League group stage football for the first time in 12 years after stunning PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands to seal their place at Europe’s top table.

An absorbing second-leg play-off tie played in searing 30 degree heat was settled on the hour mark when Malik Tillman intercepted a short pass out from defence before setting up Antonio Colak to tap home from six yards.

The Ibrox side will now join Glasgow rivals Celtic in tomorrow’s group phase draw in Istanbul - the first time since 2007/08 that two Scottish teams will feature among Europe’s elite clubs.

Unsavoury scenes greeted the Rangers team bus upon arrival at the Philips Stadion, causing a delay which led to a shorter-than-usual warm-up preparation, with the club having a request to delay kick-off turned down.

Van Bronckhorst, who made just one change to the side that started the 2-2 first-leg draw at Ibrox last week with midfielder Glen Kamara replacing Steven Davis, described the home fans pre-match behaviour as “the worst I’ve seen as a player and as a manager.”

Given what was at stake, Rangers displayed several positive signs in the first-half with Ryan Kent registering an early shot on target before John Lundstram blazed wide of the target from the edge of the box.

However, with the home support growing slightly restless, Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side stepped up a gear with Luuk de Jong, Ibrahim Sangare and Cody Gakpo firing over as PSV finished the opening 45 minutes strongly.

Rangers had won only one of their last 11 European ties away from home but they began the second half on the front foot with Tom Lawrence hitting the crossbar with a curling shot from 20-yards.

The visitors’ pressure paid dividends on the hour mark as they opened the scoring after a strong spell of pressure. Malik Tillman forced PSV defender Romalho into an error inside his own penalty area and the Bayern Munich loanee squared the ball across for the unmarked Antonio Colak to slot into an empty net.

PSV mounted some late pressure with Jon McLaughlin producing a vital one-handed save to deny Cody Gakpo but after five minutes of injury-time, Rangers stood firm to clinch a lucrative place in the group stages for the first time in over a decade.

A £25million windfall will also come their way as the club completed a remarkable turnaround from playing in Scottish football’s third division to the Champions League in the space of ten years.

Now Rangers can look forward to testing themselves on the biggest stage.

Here are GlasgowWorld’s player ratings...

JON McLAUGHLIN - 8 - Terrific display. Off his line quickly to punch clear Veerman’s lofted pass into the six-yard box and dominant in the air to snuff out PSV’s threat from a corner. Important saves in either half; firstly to deny de Jong’s effort on the stretch before blocking Gakpo’s shot at his near post.

JAMES TAVERNIER - 6 - The skipper didn’t advance forward as much as he would’ve liked but had a quiet night by his standards.

CONNOR GOLDSON - 6 - Making his 67th European appearance. Hesitancy almost capitalised on by hosts towards the end of the first-half. Needed to be stronger against de Jong before getting outmuscled by Gakpo moments later. Important headed clearance late on as PSV probed late on.

JAMES SANDS -6 - Looked nervy at times. Fortunate not to be punished after gifting the ball away deep inside his own half just beyond the half hour mark. Allowed Sangare a free header which flew narrowly over the bar but intercepted well and strong in the challenge.

BORNA BARISIC - 5 - Struggled to get to grips with the trickery of Saibari in the first-half, twice allowing his opponent to get the better of him with dangerous deliveries into the box. Booked for a clumsy challenge on Simons.

GLEN KAMARA - 7 - Back in the side for the first time since the Union Saint-Gilloise defeat. Put in a tireless shift in the middle of the park. Composed on the ball and displayed a few neat turns under pressure. Withdrawn after 73 minutes.

JOHN LUNDSTRAM - 7 - Will feel he should’ve hit the target in the first-half after being set-up perfectly by Tillman. Worked extremely hard alongside Kamara and was involved in plenty of the play.

MALIK TILLMAN - 9 - Displayed good vision to pick out Lundstram after 25 minutes. Pounced on a defensive mistake from Ramalho to square the ball to Colak for a simple tap-in. Brilliant endeavour to steal in on the blindside. Forced Benitez into a great stop.

TOM LAWRENCE - 8 - A pre-match injury doubt with an ankle issue but always willing to receive the ball and had a few nice touches. Outstanding movement to skip past two PSV players and unfortunate to see his curling effort rattle the crossbar in the second half.

RYAN KENT - 6 - Posed a constant threat down the left-hand side early on. Tested Benitez with a low shot inside 15 minutes before producing brilliant cross for Colak moments later. Booked for late challenge on Sangare and reacted angrily to Simons cynical late challenge. Faded slightly.

ANTONIO COLAK - 7 - Lively in the opening stages but his ball retention under pressure let him down. Pressed well and given the simple task of slotting into an empty net from close range on the hour mark to continue recent scoring spree. Hard-working performance.


SCOTT ARFIELD - 3 - Brought on for Kamara to add fresh attacking impetus but spent more time defending. Across quickly to put to ensure Veerman blazed over from a promising position.

SCOTT WRIGHT - 4 - Replaced Lawrence with 18 minutes remaining. Wiped out by Obispo’s heavy challenge but able to continue and got into some good areas.

FASHION SAKALA - 2 - Provided fresh legs in injury-time as he replaced Colak. Little time to make an impact.

Not Used:

Allan McGregor (GK), Robby McCrorie (GK), Ridvan Yilmaz, Leon King, Adam Devine, Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Rabbi Matondo, Robbie Ure