Rangers FC held FK Crvena Zvezda to a scoreless draw in Belgrade to progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage courtesy of their 1-0 first-leg win in Glasgow.
The Scottish club survived an early scare before producing a solid defensive performance to take their place in Thursday's draw and deny the Serbian champions a first appearance in the UEFA Champions League proper.
Backed by a capacity 50,000 crowd, 'Red Star' went out in search of a goal to level the tie and it almost arrived within two minutes. Uncharacteristically, Carlos Cuéllar misjudged a high ball which presented Igor Burzanović with a scoring opportunity from eight metres, but the Crvena Zvezda striker – who had missed the first leg through suspension – shot straight at Allan McGregor.
Dušan Andjelković should have broken the deadlock on 34 minutes when a loose ball fell to him deep inside the Rangers box, yet with the goal at his mercy the left-back lifted a shot harmlessly over. Milorad Kosanović's men were doing all the running with Rangers content to soak up the pressure and McGregor forced into action again just before half-time, blocking Andjelković's attempt at the expense of a corner.
Crvena Zvezda continued to enjoy the lion's share of possession after the break without creating clear-cut openings. Indeed, the best chance fell to Jean-Claude Darcheville at the other end on 57 minutes. The Rangers forward used his strength to wriggle away from his marker on the edge of the area but his strike failed to find the target.
Buoyed by that effort, Lee McCulloch tried his luck and Ivan Randjelović had to turn his shot around the post, before home captain Ognjen Koroman prompted another good stop from McGregor with an attempt from just outside the box. In the closing minutes the home team pushed for a goal that would take the tie to extra time but Rangers held on, ensuring that Nacho Novo's solitary strike in Glasgow sent them into the group stage for the eighth time.