RANGERS are preparing to come home from Charleston after a ten day stay in the city and defeating local side Charleston Battery last night.

Throughout the history of the club, the Light Blues have travelled to America on many different occasions and across the next couple of weeks, we are going to be remembering those trips across the pond in a series of articles.

Fourteen years ago Rangers took on Argentinian giants River Plate at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Manuel Pellegrini was at the helm of River and Martin Demichelis was at the heart of the defence.

The Light Blues would ultimately lose the match by a single goal, but this definitely wasn’t a normal pre-season friendly, with Arthur Numan being sent off for a challenge on Andres D’Allesandro.

River took an early lead through Roberto Ayala in  the 17th minute and Zapata made Rangers pay for missed chances for 2-0 early in the second half.

Shota Arveladze pulled a goal back after good work from Fernando Ricksen on the hour. Amoruso’s stunning free-kick restored parity on 77 minutes but Rangers were immediately caught napping as Lopez netted the winner straight from the restart.

Light Blues boss Alex McLeish was delighted with the progress his new midfield partnership Mikel Arteta and Barry Ferguson made: “I thought Barry and Mikel were excellent.

“River Plate’s midfield was causing us problems early on, so we changed things about and it suited them better. Mikel moved further forward in the second half and I thought he had a fantastic game.

“His touch was there and he and Barry looked comfortable with each other.”

Rangers (4-2-1-3) Klos; Ricksen (Ross 86), Moore, Amoruso, Numan; Ferguson(c), Arteta; Latapy (Muscat 58); De Boer, Arveladze, Mols (Flo 66)

River Plate (4-3-1-2) Comizzo; Ayala, Rojas, Garce, Demichelis; Coudet, Astrada, Zapata; Alvarez; Dominguez, Cavenaghi
Attendance 22,070

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