RANGERS were in Canada twelve years ago today and took on Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in a friendly at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The match against the Croatians was the second game in three days, after beating a Canadian Soccer League XI 4:1 at the University of Toronto.
The Gers took on Dinamo Zagreb featuring a young Luka Modric, in front of 18,159 fans at Rogers Centre and lost by a single goal scored by second half substitute Teo Kardum in the 81st minute. Click here to read a full match report.
Steven Thompson did well to avoid a punch thrown on the edge of the Zagreb box, but the referee didn’t spot the situation and Zagreb charged up the pitch to open the scoring.
Kardum managed to beat defender Brahim Hemdani to a loose ball and slid the ball beyond Ronald Watterreus.
After the match, Rangers manager Alex McLeish was happy with the match: ”I was very satisfied with the performance. We passed well, position was good, we created some chances.”
He continued, “Dinamo are 20 days ahead of us in terms of their fitness and it was a really good test.”
Rangers were perhaps unlucky to lose the match after Thomas Buffel had been denied with a couple of good chances before the best chance of the match fell to Ian Murray after he fired a loose ball inside the box into the side netting.
RANGERS – 4-4-2: 23 Waterreus; 2 Ricksen (Smith 69), 12 Malcolm, 15 Khizanishvili, 24 Murray; 17 Burke, 7 Hemdani, 6 Ferguson (Rae 61), 26 Lovenkrands; 19 Thompson, 4 Buffel (McCormack 61)
DINAMO ZAGREB – 3-4-1-2: 1 Turina; 6 Jese, 26 Drpic, 21 Cesar; 2 Buliat, 28 Mamic, 8 Tomic, 3 Cale; 16 Modric (Ljubojevic 46), 20 Mitu, 12 Bosnjak (Kardum 75)
REFEREE: Silvio Petrescu