Gers hold on in Turkey
Yildirim's late effort cancels out Miller opener
Last Updated: December 7, 2010 10:26pm
Miller: Celebrates his goal
Rangers survived a late onslaught from Bursaspor in Turkey to claim a 1-1 draw in UEFA Champions League Group C.
Walter Smith's side more than held their own in the first half and claimed a deserved lead through Kenny Miller's fine strike.
The striker checked his run in the middle and latched onto Steven Whittaker's left-wing cross to lash home a first-time left-footed shot.
However, Bursaspor finished the stronger of the sides and Sercan Yildirim's close-range finish on 79 minutes levelled the contest.
Despite a barrage of late pressure Gers held out and picked up a point in their final Champions League match having finished third in Group C.
Bursaspor, playing in green and white hoops similar to that of Rangers' Old Firm rivals Celtic, started the game that little bit sharper than the visitors.
They might have taken the lead in the 16th minute when striker Leonel Nunez side-stepped Madjid Bougherra in the box to make himself a yard of space, only to fire over the bar.
But three minutes later it was the Scottish champions who grabbed the lead with Miller's first Champions League goal of the season.
Steven Naismith sent Whittaker down the left and when his low cross came into the box, the Scotland striker sent a stunning strike from the penalty spot high past the Green Crocodiles' second-choice goalkeeper Yavuz Ozkan from 14 yards.
The Rangers support almost had more to cheer about minutes later when Darren Cole curled a cross to the back post where Naismith was unmarked, but the former Kilmarnock player looped a header just over the bar.
Bursaspor's early enthusiasm looked to have dampened and there was some trouble within a section of the home crowd before several spectators broke through the security cordon and across no-man's land to goad the Gers fans penned in at a corner.
An uneasy peace was restored but the Govan side looked comfortable and compact as they defended their lead.
Bursaspor brought on Omer Erdogan and Pablo Batalla for Serdar Aziz and Huseyin Cimsir respectively at the start of the second half but within two minutes Miller sent a header past the post from another Whittaker cross.
The Ibrox club, accustomed to playing defensively in Europe, retained their discipline and shape but they were struggling to get out of their own half at times.
In the 58th minute, after another corner had been cleared outside the box, Bursaspor skipper Bekir Ozan Has volleyed high over the bar and another opportunity for the Turkish side was missed.
The Light Blues were sporadically pushing for the second goal but the Bursaspor keeper was mainly an interested spectator.
James Beattie replaced the tiring Miller just past the hour, with Turgay Bahadir coming on for Nunez - a substitution booed by the home support.
Vladimir Weiss replaced Naismith in the 70th minute, before Federico Insua curled a 20-yard free-kick wide of McGregor's right-hand post.
However, in the 79th minute Bursaspor got a deserved equaliser when Ozan Ipek's cross from the left found Sercan Yildirim 12 yards from goal and with the Ibrox defence caught flat-footed, he knocked the ball past McGregor.
Moments later Yildirim worked a one-two with Insua and found himself through on goal against McGregor - but missed his kick, allowing the Rangers keeper to gather.It was a remarkable let-off for the visitors, who had to defend with some desperation until the final whistle.
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||1|
|7||Shots off Target||3|
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