Glasgow Rangers booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on Wednesday night as they defeated Braga 1-0.
A heroic display from the Gers across two-legs saw them become the first Scottish team to win both legs of a European knockout tie since 2002.
Take into account that Rangers trailed Braga 2-0 at Ibrox in the first of the two meetings, then you have to admire the guts and determination shown by Steven Gerrard’s men.
The Gers boss couldn’t contain his pride for his players following the full-time whistle, on a huge European night for the club.
“I’m super proud of the players – to a man they were outstanding. I’m really proud of them,” Gerrard said, as reported by the Daily Record.
“It’s one thing giving a team a game plan but you’ve got to trust them to go and carry it out.
“I thought they were faultless, especially out of possession and the idea was to soak it up but carry a threat.
“The players deserve all the credit for that against the highest scorers in the competition.”
Rangers headed into the second leg wary of the two away goals their opponents had scored in Scotland, as they faced a side with huge attacking threat.
On the stroke of half-time their Ibrox hero Ianis Hagi had the chance to make it a two-goal cushion with a penalty, but missed the spot kick to the despair of the travelling supporters.
In the end it didn’t matter, as a 61st minute strike from Ryan Kent proved enough to secure a 1-0 victory for Rangers over Braga.
Gerrard’s men held out until the final whistle to cap a memorable night for those who made the trip over from Scotland, as they await their fate in the next round of the competition.
Monday’s Round of 16 draw could bring a huge tie for Rangers, however Wednesday evening’s performance could also spark a turnaround in fortunes in the league.
Rangers have fallen 12 points off the pace in the Scottish Premiership due to a run of poor results, although they do have a game in hand over fierce rivals Celtic.
If Gerrard can inspire his side to take their European form into their league campaign, it could see Gers cut that gap and make things more interesting over the coming weeks.
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