RANGERS were denied an excellent point right at the death in tonight’s Europa League Group G match with Young Boys in Bern.
Leading 1-0 at half-time through Alfredo Morelos’ opener, Gers conceded soon after the restart to Michael Aebischer’s counter before Christian Fassnacht won it right at the death for the home side.
The superb Stade de Suisse played host to the game tonight, and while not quite full to capacity, there was a terrific atmosphere as the teams emerged into what was a pretty chilly evening in the Swiss capital.
The opening minutes saw both sides working hard to try and work each other out, with chances very much at a premium until the ninth minute.
There, Gianluca Gaudino took a quick one, catching out the Gers defence to pick out Michel Aebischer lurking just inside the area, but he shot wide of Allan McGregor’s left-hand post.
The home side then missed a terrific opportunity, with some fine interplay ending with Christian Fassnacht picking out Jean-Pierre Nsame at the back post, but the ball just bounced off him as he adjusted to shoot.
Going the other way, Steven Davis had a powerful effort which took a deflection and was easily held by David von Ballmoos, while some real slackness in the home defence presented the ball to Alfredo Morelos to run behind them, but his shot was weak and straight at the goalkeeper.
It had been such a tight half, but on 44 minutes, Rangers hit the front, and it should come as no surprise it was Alfredo Morelos with the goal once again!
Borna Barisic’s played a neat ball down the left channel to put Morelos up against Cedric Zesiger. Once again, the Colombian’s strength and power was just outstanding, and he shrugged off the towering defender with ease to run through on goal and finish with serious aplomb beyond von Ballmoos.
It was a brilliant time to score his 14th of the season – and it should have been even better just before half time. Again, Barisic played the ball forward, this time for Ojo to chase, He evaded Sorensen, and while he drifted to the right of the target, he shot across the face of goal though he could have slipped-in the incoming Morelos.
Young Boys began the second half with more intensity than the first, and within five minutes of the restart, they were level.
The Light Blues didn’t deal with a cross coming in from the right, and sliding in to score was Roger Assale, connecting to the ball at close-range.
Gers’ response to being pegged-back was a good one, with Morelos unleashing a fierce shot from the right of goal which von Ballmoos did extremely well to fist away.
The Colombian was then bundled to the ground at the back-post by Ulisses Garcia, but the visitors’ protests were waved away before they were dealt a blow in midfield with Ryan Jack going off injured and having his place taken by Greg Stewart.
Connor Goldson had the visitors’ next chance on 77 minutes, heading a Barisic corner over at the back-post, while Stewart had the ball in the net at the end of a lightning move soon after, though he was denied by the offside flag of the linesman.
In the final minute of the 90, James Tavernier crossed to Morelos who let fly from the edge of the area, and again his shot had some serious venom behind it and was well turned away by von Ballmoos.
Then, deep into stoppage time, Young Boys grabbed the winning goal. A slip in defence from Gers allowed Christian Fassnacht in one-on-one with McGregor, and he finished well beyond the Gers goalkeeper.
RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Davis, Jack (Stewart, 65), Kamara; Ojo, Morelos, Arfield.
SUBS NOT USED: Foderingham, Defoe, Halliday, Katic, Barker, King.
BOOKED: Morelos, Tavernier.
BSC YOUNG BOYS: von Ballmoos, Sorensen, Zesiger, Gaudino (Ngamaleu, 73), Fassnacht, Assale (Lotomba, 67), Nsame, Aebischer, Garcia, Janko, Lustenberger.
SUBS NOT USED: Wolfli, Petignat, Burgy, Mambimbi, Schupbach.
BOOKED: Zesiger, Sorensen.
REFEREE: Manuel Schuettengruber