Rangers threw away a two-goal lead in the second half to draw 2-2 with Benfica at Ibrox, but still sit in a good position to qualify from Europa League Group D.
Rangers needed to beat Benfica and hope Lech Poznan lost at Standard Liege to progress, and Scott Arfield made it a perfect start for Steven Gerrard’s side, finishing a rebound from 10 yards after Kemar Roofe had a header saved and James Tavernier had hit the crossbar (7).
Rangers soaked up Benfica pressure superbly and picked their moments to attack; Roofe added a brilliant second, striking into the top corner from the edge of the box having spent the majority of the game living off scraps and attempting holding the ball up (69).
But the hosts fell apart in the space of three minutes as Tavernier’s scrappy own goal (77) and Pizzi’s sweeping strike (81) brought Benfica level, their first two efforts on target.
But Standard Liege’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Lech Poznan means Rangers are still in control of qualification from Group D, sitting top and five points clear of Poznan in third with two games remaining.
Full report to follow
Rangers now go to Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup on Sunday at 5pm, before hosting Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday December 3 at 8pm.