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Substitute Ianis Hagi secured a precious point for Rangers against Brondby to go level with second-placed Sparta Prague in Europa League Group A.

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The Danes led right on half time as Leon Balogun headed into his own net – the hosts’ first goal in the group.

Steven Gerrard’s side had earlier come close through Alfredo Morelos and Fashion Sakala.
But Hagi ran on to fellow substitute’s Ryan Kent’s pass to lash the ball beyond Mads Hermansen.
Rangers and Sparta, who face each other in the next round of fixtures, sit on four points, with Brondby three points behind. Leaders Lyon are now assured of a last-16 place as they have an eight-point advantage and two games left.
The second-placed team will go to the preliminary knockout round with eight teams dropping down from the Champions League, while third seals a Europa Conference League knockout place.

Having lost the first goal in their three games since beating Brondby last month, Rangers were eager to be on the front foot.
And Morelos thought he had given them an early lead when he converted a James Tavernier corner, but the delivery had drifted out of play. The Colombia striker was also allowed to take down a Borna Barisic cross but shot over and later he fired narrowly wide

Sakala also threatened for visitors, chasing Joe Aribo’s through ball and dragging wide, and Connor Goldson’s dangerous header at a corner was blocked.
The Danish hosts had offered little in attack but started to pick up corners, from which Christian Cappis nodded on a Josip Radosevic delivery and Balogun’s intervention carried the ball past Allan McGregor on the stroke of half time. The defender had scored Rangers’ opener against the Danes two weeks previously.
Kevin Tshiembe could have doubled Brondby’s lead early in the second period, Scott Arfield making a vital block.
Gerrard withdrew Morelos, Sakala and Arfield and threw on Hagi, Kemar Roofe and Kent, the latter returning from a six-week hamstring injury.
Balogun sought redemption at a corner when he tested Hermansen from a Goldson header but the goalkeeper made a comfortable save.
Brondby began to sit deeper and deeper and when Kent picked up Aribo’s intelligent pass and motored forward, Hagi peeled off to take the winger’s through ball and finish with style.
There was a late chance for a Rangers winner when Roofe got in a header at a corner, the forward only able to find the side netting.

Man of the match – James Tavernier

What we learned

Defending has not been Rangers’ friend this season and Brondby were given encouragement by the amount of corners they were winning.
The visitors’ use of the ball was too often poor and prevented them creating more chances. That said, more accuracy from Morelos and Sakala would have got them on the scoresheet in the first half.
But Kent’s introduction was a game changer as the Englishman showed flashes of his form from last season.

What they said

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: “I think there was more there for us, more than a point. We’ve underperformed, certainly in the first half. There was a massive improvement when I made the substitutions.
“It was certainly a fantastic goal. It’s great to have Ryan Kent back. If any team was going to go on and win the game, it was us.”
Rangers scorer Ianis Hagi told BT Sport: “It’s a draw. We came here to win and we didn’t win. At least we took that point and now we have to win the last two games to be in the next round.
“Our mentality should’ve been better from the beginning. We’re Rangers and we have to come here and try to win, not wait for the second half to go out there and attack.”

What’s next?

Rangers have one more match before the international break, against Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday. Their next Europa League game is at home to Sparta Prague on 25 November.

Match stats

Rangers have faced Danish sides more often without losing in European competition than they have sides from any other nation (10 – W8 D2)

Brondby became the first side to fail to register a single shot on target but still score in a Europa League match since Lazio against Nice in November 2017.

Rangers’ past two goals conceded in the Europa League have been from corners – just one of their previous 41 goals shipped in the competition had come from a corner situation.

Ianis Hagi’s strike was his first in 12 appearances for Rangers in all competitions, since netting against Dunfermline in the Scottish League Cup in August.

Leon Balogun’s own goal on the stroke of half time was the fifth Rangers have conceded in the Europa League since 2019-20, at least two more than any other side in that time.

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