Danish champions FC København can be hopeful of claiming a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in their short history after a well-deserved first-leg draw in Glasgow.
Danes look confident
Rangers FC, who competed the Scottish domestic treble last season, failed to produce anything like their best form in front of more than 47,000 fans at Ibrox. And the Danes will feel confident of finishing the job in two weeks' time to complete the greatest achievement in their eleven-year existence.
Rangers made the perfect start when Peter Lovenkrands fired them in front after seven minutes. Visiting goalkeeper Balázs Rabóczki punched a Mikel Arteta free-kick straight into the Danish striker's path at the back post and he made no mistake.
København take control
Despite this setback, København soon began to assert themselves, taking control of midfield to the frustration of the home fans. Although Arteta went close on 23 minutes and Raboczki then kept out a Michael Mols effort, Rangers were given a warning of what was to come when Sibusiso Zuma powered in a low drive that tested goalkeeper Stefan Klos.
The visitors claimed the goal their play merited five minutes into the second period when Todi Jónsson turned neatly on the edge of the area and picked his spot in the bottom corner.
Rangers manager Alex McLeish tried to revamp his lacklustre attack by introducing Scotland striker Steven Thompson and former FC Porto winger Nuno Capucho. However, they made little impact as København held firm to the delight of their band of travelling supporters.
Midfield players praised
København coach Hans Backe said: "I think the midfielders were excellent in closing down [Barry] Ferguson and Arteta. We really stopped the supply line. But for me the tie could still go either way and I expect Rangers will be in better condition when they come to Copenhagen."
His Rangers counterpart, McLeish, said: "'I'm very disappointed in the way we played at the start of the second half. Købehavn got their goal in that period and grew in confidence. But the tie is still alive and I think by the time the second leg comes around some of my players will have a better level of fitness."
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