A reflective Rangers boss Walter Smith believed Stuttgart's equaliser before half-time was the turning point of Tuesday's Champions League game.
Gers lost 3-2 in Germany and now need a draw in their final game at home to Lyon to progress from Group E into the knockout stages.
They took the lead in the 27th minute thanks to substitute Charlie Adam, but Stuttgart drew level on the stroke of half-time through Cacau.
Stuttgart then took the lead just past the hour mark with a Pavel Pardo strike, before Gers captain Barry Ferguson equalised.
But the Scottish side suffered heartbreak five minutes from time when Ciprian Marica found the net.
Reflecting on the game, Smith said: "I'm a little bit disappointed we lost. I think going one-nil up and then losing a goal as we did just before half-time, especially the type of goal it was, was disappointing, I think it gave Stuttgart a bit of a lift."
He added Rangers started the second half strongly but Stuttgart managed to get into the lead.
"We came out after that and worked very hard and managed to get back on level terms," said Smith, adding they then had another opportunity just after when Adam could have put them in front.
They then changed tactically to try to win the game in the last period but ended up losing a goal which ended up killing the game.
"We're a little bit disappointed to lose but at the end of the day, I felt losing the goal just before half-time was probably the turning point in the game from Stuttgart's point of view," said Smith.