A last minute goal from Spanish striker Nacho Novo gave Rangers FC a 1-0 win against FK Crvena Zvezda in a tense UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg in Glasgow.
It looked as though the Belgrade club had done enough to hold out. But substitute Novo latched on to a loose ball in the final minute before sending it past the advancing goalkeeper Ivan Randjelović to give Rangers a dramatic, albeit slender, lead ahead of the return in Serbia in a fortnight's time
Both sides begun the match cagily, seemingly content to enjoy possession in deep-lying areas without ever posing a significant threat at either end. Indeed, the first half hour came and went without a shot on target, the only incidents of note being bookings for Djordje Tutorić and Dušan Andjelković following some over zealous challenges on Jean-Claude Darcheville and Barry Ferguson.
The visitors greatest threat came from Ognjen Koroman down the left-hand side but all too often the former Portsmouth FC midfielder lacked support to the extent that frustration eventually got the better of him when he also entered the referee's notebook for a late tackle on Allan Hutton. Five minutes before half-time Filip Djordević went close for Crvena Zvezda reacting to a misjudgement from Carlos Cuellar before unleashing a powerful left-foot shot that rose just over Allan McGregor's crossbar.
The second half continued in much the same vein with both midfields cancelling each other out leaving chances at a premium for both sets of strikers. With 25 minutes remaining Walter Smith reacted to the impasse by making a double substitution, introducing Novo and Daniel Cousin in place of DaMarcus Beasley and Darcheville as Rangers sought to inject more pace into their attack. However, apart from a Cousin shot and an effort by Ferguson which found the side-netting it looked as if Smith's attacking moves were in vain, but then Novo struck and a return to the group stage after reaching the last 16 two years ago now looks a real possibility.