Europa League - Qualifying First Round - 1st Leg
Rangers1Progrès Niederkorn0

Rangers 1-0 Progres Niederkorn

Kenny Miller scores
Kenny Miller beat goalkeeper Sebastian Flauss at his near post to make it 1-0.

Kenny Miller scored the only goal as Rangers made a winning return to the European stage against Luxembourg's Progres Niederkorn.

The Europa League first qualifying round was the Ibrox club's first match in Europe for six years.

Miller raced on to a Niko Kranjcar free-kick and fired low past Sebastian Flauss to edge his side ahead.

But Pedro Caixinha's outfit were unable to add to their lead and now face a testing time in Luxembourg next week.

Rangers have had a busy summer on the transfer front and three of Caixinha's new signings started the match - Fabio Cardoso, Ryan Jack and Dalcio. Fellow new boys Daniel Candeias and Alfredo Morelos were on the bench.

Niko Kranjcar
Niko Kranjcar was the star man for Rangers but he was unable to add to Kenny Miller's strike.

It was a signing from last summer, Kranjcar, who took centre stage early on, spreading passes all over the Ibrox surface and drilling a long-range effort just wide of goal.

The Croat missed a glorious chance after 25 minutes, heading a James Tavernier cross wide when he was perfectly placed a few yards from goal.

Rangers continued to dominate but another chance went begging as Kranjcar's corner fell to David Bates, only for the defender to knock the ball high over the bar.

The opening goal came courtesy of one of Rangers' old guard after 37 minutes. Kranjcar was alert as he played a quick free-kick on the edge of the area, releasing Miller who beat Flauss at his near post. The goalkeeper really ought to have done better.

It was almost 2-0 before the break but Cardoso's powerful diving header from Kranjcar's corner was well saved by Flauss.

Miller skewed a low effort narrowly wide at the start of the second half after carving a path through the Progres defence, aided by Jason Holt.

Ryan Jack
Former Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack made a comfortable start to his Rangers career.

The visitors then had a couple of efforts on goal, with Max Watzka firing over the bar before Alexander Karapetian drew a stop from goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

Miller had a sight of target as Flauss flapped at a long through ball but the home side were not creating as much as they had done in the first half.

Daniel Candeias and Jordan Rossiter were introduced for Rangers, with Holt and Kranjcar making way.

Candeias soon had a shot saved by Flauss as Rangers looked for the second, before Rossiter drilled one well over the bar from distance.

Another new face, Alfredo Morelos, made his debut with the ineffectual Martyn Waghorn going off.

Defender Bates had a header cleared off the line as the hosts pushed for a second in stoppage time.

But that was as close as they came to adding to their lead over a side that had scored just one goal in their previous 12 European encounters.

Caixinha's side could now face a nervy evening in Tuesday's return leg.

Daniel Candeias
Daniel Candeias was one of five players to make their Rangers debut in the win over Progres.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 23HoltSubstituted forCandeiasat 59'minutes
  • 4Cardoso
  • 24Bates
  • 5Wallace
  • 2Tavernier
  • 8Jack
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forMorelosat 77'minutes
  • 19KranjcarSubstituted forRossiterat 69'minutes
  • 9Miller
  • 7Dálcio

Substitutes

  • 11Windass
  • 18Rossiter
  • 20Morelos
  • 21Candeias
  • 25Alnwick
  • 36Beerman
  • 40McCrorie

Progrès Niederkorn

  • 1Flauss
  • 16Watzka
  • 11SchneiderBooked at 89minsSubstituted forFioraniat 90'minutes
  • 23FerinoBooked at 90mins
  • 10ThillBooked at 76minsSubstituted forVogelat 81'minutes
  • 25Lafon
  • 31Thill
  • 14Françoise
  • 87KarapetyanSubstituted forSullyat 86'minutes
  • 70Matias Marques
  • 38Karayer

Substitutes

  • 5Vogel
  • 9Sully
  • 13Schinker
  • 17Marques Soares
  • 20Mastrangelo
  • 27Fiorani
  • 45Barbaro
Referee:
Mohammed Al-Hakim
Attendance:
48,681

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