Europa League - Rangers out of luck as PSV progress

Thu, 17 Mar 22:05:00 2011

PSV Eindhoven ended Rangers' Europa League hopes with a 1-0 aggregate win in the last 16 - but only after the referee missed a PSV player handling on his goal-line in the second half at Ibrox.

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With Rangers trailing to Jeremain Lens's 13th minute opener for PSV, the home side were denied a blatant penalty when Atiba Hutchinson knocked Maurice Edu's shot off the line with his arm on 61 minutes.

It came seconds after substitute Steven Naismith had clattered the bar with a header.

The decision changed the momentum of the tie as Fred Rutten's Dutch league leaders would have conceded a certain penalty and been reduced to 10 men, but the fourth officials employed at Europa League matches around the penalty areas also missed the incident.

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the tie in Eindhoven, the visiting side cut Rangers open with a move of genuine quality.

Erik Pieters sent Balazs Dzsudzsak racing down a flank and he crossed for Lens to convert from five yards for the night's decisive goal.

PSV were the dominant force in the first period and could have finished the home side off when Dzsudzsak walloped over the bar on 13 minutes from Ola Toivonen's pinpoint pass.

Rangers rallied in the second period with Maurice Edu forcing Andreas Isaksoon to save on the hour mark, but despite the superb wide play of winger Greg Wylde they could not find the two goals they needed to reach the last eight.

The Glasgow side are set to be without Northern Irish striker Kyle Lafferty for their League Cup final with city rivals Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday.

Lafferty fell awkwardly in the second half and looked to be in some pain as he was stretchered off to compound a forgettable night for the home team.

With Rangers pushing for an equaliser, chances came and went at both ends.

Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander made an agile diving save to tip Toivenen's curling effort past his post while the unmarked Madjid Bougherra should have hit the target when he nodded over from the outstanding Wyle's corner 15 minutes from time.

Dzsudzsak saw a shot come back off the post in the closing minutes from a free-kick, while Bougherra was also denied a penalty when he was felled by Toivonen as the referee missed another key decision on the night.

PSV were probably the sharper team over the two legs, but Rangers have a right to lament their lack of luck in the second period.


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