RANGERS will play FC Midtjylland of Denmark in qualifying round three of the Europa League after seeing off Progrès Niederkorn with a goalless draw here in Luxembourg City tonight.
Having defeated the outfit from the Grand Duchy 2-0 at Ibrox last week, Gers now progress and will travel to Denmark next week for the first leg.
From the side which played in that first leg, boss Steven Gerrard made four changes, replacing George Edmundson, Andy Halliday, Alfredo Morelos and the injured Steven Davis with Nikola Katic, Borna Barisic, Jermain Defoe and Glen Kamara.
While the home side had a need to chase the game to try and get back into the tie, it was actually Gers who began the brighter, dominating the possession and forcing a few corner kicks.
On 11 minutes, Sheyi Ojo drove at the Progrès defence from deep, and spotted the advanced run of Scott Arfield to his right. Ojo played a beautiful, curled ball round defender Tim Hall to pick out Arfield at the back post, but from an acute angle, he struck the base of the post and the Luxembourgers were able to clear before Jermain Defoe could steam in to score the rebound.
At the other end, Progrès threatened for the first time as Metin Karayer headed a corner wide of target before Yann Marques did well to deflect a Sheyi Ojo shot over the bar as Gers threatened once again, and then, after remaining forward from a corner, Nikola Katic couldn’t sort his feet to net an excellent Connor Goldson ball.
Ojo tested goalkeeper Sebastian Flauss from distance as the half ticked down, but goalless is how it remained at the break.
Into the second half, and Goldson got a clean connection on an Ojo corner, but headed wide, while Katic did likewise soon after, nodding over the bar.
Arfield had a go from 25-yards, but Flauss gathered his trundling effort with ease before Progrès had their best opportunity to date, Sebastien Thill firing over from close-range as Gers failed to clear their lines from a set-piece.
Jermain Defoe had an opportunity deflected by on 75 minutes as the game became more stretched, while a James Tavernier shot from distance went well over the bar.
Substitute Alfredo Morelos should have put the tie to bed once and for all on 82 minutes as slackness in defence from Progres allowed Ojo to nip-in and square for the Colombian who was stationed in the six-yard box, but from nowhere, Adrian Ferino got back with a wonderful block to clear the danger.
Morelos then turned provider for Ojo, playing a lovely ball through the defence for the winger, but from just inside the area he shot wide before, for a third time, the duo combined once more, bu again, Ferino was there with a wonder-block to stop Morelos tapping home Ojo’s cross.
All of a sudden, it was chance after chance, and Flauss made a superb save to deny Joe Aribo finishing a Tavernier ball
RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Barisic (Halliday, 45’); Kamara, Jack, Aribo; Ojo, Defoe (Morelos, 75’), Arfield (Docherty, 75’).
SUBS: Foderingham, Edmundson, Jones, Stewart.
BOOKED: Barisic (9’), Arfield (62’),
FC PROGRES NIEDERKORN: Flauss, Vogel, de Almeida, Mmaee (Bah, 71’), Francoise (Tekiela, 85) Ferino, Thill (Shala 64’), Hall, Karayer, Silaj, Marques.
SUBS: Czekanowicz, Skenderovic, Cervellera, Muratovic.
BOOKED: Thill (49’)
REFEREE: Ivaylo Stoyanov (Bulgaria)