RANGERS suffered heartbreak in their opening game of the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup this morning with Bayern Munich equalising with just 15 seconds left to play.
Gers acquitted themselves so well against the German giants at the Sindelfingen Glaspalast, and held a half-time lead through Jordan Houston’s strike before Bayern levelled right at the death.
This was Rangers’ debut in the competition, but you wouldn’t have known that in the early stages given the mature performance the young Light Blues side were producing.
Allowing Bayern to have the bulk of the ball, Gers pressing game was so impressive, and that allowed them time and again to regain the ball, break and create opportunities.
Dapo Mebude was especially adept at that, and twice came close to opening the scoring with efforts falling just wide of either post.
Then with four minutes on the clock, good hold-up play from Josh McPake on the edge of the box allowed the ball to break left for Jordan Houston to smash the ball into the back of the net.
It was a deserved goal for Gers against a side vastly more experienced at this format than they were.
The score remained in the Glasgow side’s favour until the interval, and indeed beyond, albeit the pressure from Bayern was beginning to be turned up a notch or two.
Some heroic saves from Lewis Budinauckas in goal for Gers as well as some excellent defending looked to have won the day for Graeme Murty and Peter Lovenkrands’ side, while Cammy Palmer could have sealed the deal, firing a rebounded Kai Kennedy shot over the bar from close range.
But, with 15 seconds left to play, in a bit of a throwback to the painful first-team 1-1 draw between the two back in 1999, Bayern levelled matters.
Gers just couldn’t get the ball far enough away from their own goal and Jahn Hermann pounced to blast home beyond the seemingly unbeatable Budinauckas.
Against a side so used to this format and probably the strongest in the group, this was an excellent showing from Gers and will give them confidence for the matches to come.