RANGERS Under-19’s have progressed to the second round of the UEFA Youth League after a 2-2 draw at Firhill this evening.
It was an impressive comeback from the young Gers as they came from behind twice to go through on away goals. Nathan Young-Coombes netted a first-half strike for Rangers before an 81st minute goal from defender Danny Finlayson saw them through.
The Gers went into the game with a slender egde on away goals, which proved to be crucial, after a 3-3 draw in Switzerland three weeks ago.
Graeme Murty’s side threatened early on as Danny Finlayson headed just wide from a Kai Kennedy cross.
Ciaran Dickson was next to come close for the young Gers as Nathan Young-Coombes held the ball up well in the box before picking out Dickson who hit it first time but his powerful strike went just wide of the post.
Despite the early control from the Gers it was Young Boys who got the breakthrough on the 28th minute as Nico Maier drove a shot from the edge of the box beyond Lewis Budinauckas.
Rangers were back level on the 40th minute as Nathan Young-Coombes hit a brilliant strike into the top corner after being played in by Murray Miller leaving Young Boys keeper Zbinden no chance.
However, Young Boys were back in front a minute before the break as Nico Maier got his second of the game as looped a long range effort over the head of Lewis Budinauckas and into the back of the net.
Rangers almost had a second in the dying stages of the first half as James Maxwell went on a fantastic run charging past three defenders before getting his shot away but the effort was saved well by Zbinden.
Dapo Mebude had a great chance for the Gers early in the second-half as he won the break of the ball down the left before driving towards goal and cutting inside but his strike was touched behind by the Young Boys goalkeeper.
Young Boys hit on the break from a Rangers free-kick on the hour mark as they charged up the pitch with three against three but Maier dragged his shot just wide of the target.
Just a minute later Rangers threatened as the ball fell nicely for Ciaran Dickson on the edge of the box but his powerful strike was deflected wide off a Young Boys defender.
Great build-up play from Rangers on the 70th minute saw Ben Williamson find the run of Nathan Patterson on the overlap before he crossed to Ciaran Dickson but his effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
A Gers free-kick just minutes later saw substitute Aaron Lyall feed the ball through to Young-Coombes but his low effort was a comfortable save for Zbinden.
The second-half pressure from Graeme Murty’s side paid off on the 81st minute as Dapo Mebude’s cross was turned behind by Danny Finlayson.
Rangers: Budinauckas, Maxwell, Breen, Finlayson, Patterson, Williamson, Miller (Lyall, 71), Dickson (O’Connor, 90), Kennedy, Young-Coombes (McKee, 83), Mebude. Subs: Hogarth, Butterworth, Balde Ritchie-Hosler.
Young Boys: Zbinden, Kabeya, Schupbach, Geiger, Crnovrsanin, Malula, Ris, Kasongo, De Donno, Maier, Ballet. Subs: Eicher, Bichsel, J. De Donno, Neumeister, Shaqiri, Wenger, Eberhard