Uefa Cup Group F round-up
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 02/12/04 9:37pm
Rangers' 100 percent record in the Uefa Cup came to an abrupt end following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of AZ Alkmaar.
The Scottish giants, who had not conceded in their previous two games, tried to keep things tight in the opening exchanges and made a bright start at the Almaarder Hout.
Dado Prso tried a left-footed shot from the edge of the area after six minutes, however, Henk Timmer made the save down low.
Within a minute the home side were ahead through a wonderfully crafted Denny Landzaat goal - his second in Europe this season.
Stein Huysegems' cross from left was superbly controlled and then rolled by Martijn Meerdink into the path of Landzaat who made no mistake from close range.
The visitors should have been level after 36 minutes but, after Nacho Novo was allowed a clear run on goal following Barry Opdam's mistake, Timmer made a decisive save.
AZ almost made it two on the stroke of half time when Barry van Galen played in Tim de Cler although Klos forced the shot around the post.
The home came close to doubling their advantage shortly after the hour mark, however, Klos got back on his line to make the save van Galen's header after he pounced on Michael Ball's poor defensive clearance.
Jean-Alain Boumsong ensured Timmer was on his toes with a drilled left footed effort, but the keeper was perfectly placed to catch the shot.
Stephen Hughes beat Timmer with a close range header late on from Marvin Andrews' effort but could not beat Olaf Lindenbergh who was on hand to clear the effort off the line.
The defeat is not a disaster for Rangers, who need just need a point from their final Group F game to process to the next phase of the competition.
Auxerre moved into the qualifying places in Group F following a convincing 5-1 victory over Amica Wronki.
Luigi Pieroni was the match-winner for the Championnat outfit with a 21 minute first half hat-trick sealing the win.
Early goals from Jean-Pascal Mignot and Pieroni had the home side two-up inside the opening five minutes.
Pawel Kryszalowicz pulled one back, however, a Pieroni brace inside three minutes ended the visitors' hope of a comeback.
Any lingering Wronki's hopes were extinguished shortly after the break when Radoslaw Cierzniak was sent off.
Bonaventure Kalou put the icing on the Auxerre cake shortly after when he added a fifth.
| ||Az Alkmaar||Rangers|
|Shots on target||5||6|
|Shots off target||4||7|
Thu 2nd Dec - Group E
Egaleo2 - 2Lazio
Partizan1 - 1Villarreal
Thu 2nd Dec - Group F
Auxerre5 - 1Amica Wronki
AZ Alkmaar1 - 0Rangers
Thu 2nd Dec - Group H
Alemannia Aachen2 - 2Zenit
Sevilla3 - 2AEK Athens
Thu 2nd Dec - Group G
Din Zagreb2 - 2Heerenveen
Beveren0 - 3Benfica
Europa League Group A
Europa League Group B
Europa League Group C
Europa League Group D
|3||Red Bull Salzburg||1||1|
|4||FC Astra Ploiesti||1||0|
Europa League Group E
Europa League Group F
Europa League Group G
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|1||BSC Young Boys Bern||1||3|
|4||SK Slovan Bratislava||1||0|
Europa League Group J
|1||FC Steaua Bucuresti||1||3|
Europa League Group K
Europa League Group L