In a match that Paul Le Guen’s side dominated from start to finish, without playing exceptionally well it has to be said, the visitors struck midway through the second half when Graham Bayne netted Craig Dargo’s rebounded shot.
It’s the first time ever that Inverness have beaten Rangers – a frustrating statistic that could have been avoided today.
The manager made two changes to his side for this game bringing back Lionel Letizi for his first appearance since August 19, while Filip Sebo was rewarded with a start for his late goal against Aberdeen in the previous SPL outing.
After the two-week international break, during which the 22-year-old striker was over-looked by the now departed Slovakian coach Dusan Galis, Sebo was straining at the leash to get back into action.
His lightening pace and willingness to chase everything caused early problems for Inverness and his energetic running won a corner with three minutes gone.
Thomas Buffel whipped in the flag kick and it was Sebo who eventually collected at the back post, following some head tennis in the box.
His fierce drive – which was meant as a shot on goal – ended up back with Buffel still on the by line and he curled in another cross, which Dods blocked from Julien Rodriguez’s header.
Another corner followed, and then another, but Gers couldn’t capitalise on the early pressure and caused Mark Brown few real concerns.
With 11 minutes gone the Light Blues put together an impressive move, amassing at least a dozen passes before the ball found its way into the box.
Charlie Adam chested down Prso’s cross on the edge of the area for Buffel, but the Belgian’s chip over the Inverness defence was just too hard for Sebo and Brown collected.
Phil Bardsley has proved in the past he is capable of hitting a decent shot and seven minutes later he tried his luck from at least 35-yards out, which although on target was easily saved.
Inverness tried to cause their own problems up front but the Light Blues were holding a high line and Graham Bayne struggled to exploit the offside trap, being caught numerous times in the opening half an hour.
Their best chance looked like it would come from a set piece and that was the case after 30 minutes.
Barry Wilson played a quick free kick to John Rankin on the right of the area and the midfielder curled a left-footed effort goalbound, but Letizi was alert punching clear before Ross Tokely fired high and wide.
Minutes earlier Adam had a chance to open the scoring when he broke free in the box to head Buffel’s cross, but his effort dropped on to the top of the net.
Bardsley unleashed another excellent long-range shot with 35 minutes on the clock when he chested down a pass before hitting a superb dipping volley, but again Brown was alert to save.
Two minutes before the break Buffel nipped in behind the visiting defence to receive Adam’s pass and twisted away from Dods to stab the ball goalbound. Brown dived well, however, to smother before the former Feyenoord man could snatch at the rebound.
An unchanged side emerged after the interval and it was a similar story at the start of the second half with Rangers unable to make their dominance count.
It took until the 58th minute for a shot on goal from the home side and Inverness had Richard Hastings to thank for stopping a sure goal.
Buffel collected the ball at the back post and after taking a touch to control, fired a powerful shot on target. Hastings, however, bravely threw himself in front of the Belgian and diverted the chance for a corner.
Buffel, who was also dropped from his national side last week, was at the heart of everything good for Gers at this point in the game but passed up another chance just after the hour mark.
He ghosted in at the back post to receive Adam’s corner but smashed his volley his over the bar.
Kris Boyd came on to replace Prso, and shortly afterwards felt, along with the whole of the Copland Stand, that he should have won a penalty in the 64th minute when Dods looked to have pulled him down, but Iain Brines waved play on.
Despite the overwhelming pressure from Rangers in this game and as has been the case so many times this season, Le Guen’s side were made to pay for their slackness up front when Inverness astonishingly took the lead.
Craig Dargo’s shot in the 71st minute was saved but then spilled by Letizi and Bayne slid in to chip the ball into an empty net.
It was an amazing turn around of events and Ibrox erupted into boos, the supporters understandably frustrated by their side’s failure to put this game away.
The manager reacted by replacing Rodriguez with Nacho Novo, Hemdani dropping back into defence, but the home side still couldn’t find the breakthrough.
After 78 minutes Steven Smith drilled an excellent low ball across the six-yard box, which required just the faintest of touches to divert on goal, but there were no takers.
With four minutes left Novo produced a similar cross from the right, but again Boyd just couldn’t stab home.
The stadium was almost empty by full time as the fans vented their frustration with their feet.
A vast improvement is required if Rangers are to take anything from their opening UEFA Cup clash in Livorno this Thursday.
RANGERS: 4-4-2 – 21 Letizi, 16 Bardsley, 27 Rodriguez (10 Novo 73), 5 Papac, 26 Smith, 4 Buffel, 6 Ferguson, 7 Hemdani, 25 Adam, 9 Prso, 23 Sebo
SUBS: 22 McGregor, 19 Svensson, 20 Hutton, 30 N’Diaye, 11 Rae,15 Boyd
BOOKINGS: Bardsley 68, Boyd 74
INVERNESS:4-4-2 – 1 Brown, 2 Tokley, 4 Dods, 14 Munro, 16 Hastings, 7 Wilson (10 Hart 86), 8 Black, 24 Rankin, 6 McBain, 9 Bayne, 17 Dargo (12 Duncan 83)
SUBS: 21 Fraser, 5 McCaffery, 19 Wyness, 26 Sutherland, 28 McAllister
BOOKINGS: Black 44, Bayne 81
REFEREE: Iain Brines
KEY MAN: Brahim Hemdani