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Malmö hit back to oust nine-man Rangers

Malmö FF 1-1 Rangers FC (agg: 2-1)
In an incident-filled match, Jiloan Hamad's spectacular 80th-minute strike earned Malmö a place in Friday's play-off draw.

Malmö's Jiloan Hamad is mobbed after his decisive strike
Malmö's Jiloan Hamad is mobbed after his decisive strike ©Getty Images

Ten-man Malmö FF left it late to secure a UEFA Champions League play-off berth at the expense of Rangers FC, who finished the game two players down.

Rangers' task of overturning a 1-0 deficit was made all the more difficult when Steven Whittaker received his marching orders on 19 minutes. However, Ally McCoist's men were level on aggregate soon after through Nikica Jelavić. Madjid Bougherra's 66th-minute red card gave the Swedish champions a further numerical advantage before Ricardinho's dismissal made it ten against nine. Both sides looked to exploit the extra space but it was Jiloan Hamad's wonderful volley ten minutes from time that settled the tie.

Needing to cancel out Daniel Larsson's first-leg winner, Rangers started positively, Lee Wallace testing Dušan Melichárek early on with a free-kick. McCoist's charges remained undeterred after Whittaker's straight red card and levelled the tie via Jelavić's strike five minutes later.

For all their endeavour the hosts rarely troubled Allan McGregor in the visitors' goal before the break. Rikard Norling's half-time team talk prompted an improved performance after the restart, however, and they were soon up against nine men following Bougherra's departure for a foul on substitute Dardan Rexhepi.

Malmö began to exploit the extra space and twice came close through Wílton Figueiredo but the Brazilian forward fired over the crossbar. Jelavić wasted Rangers' best chance of the half before Ricardinho received his second booking for a foul on Steven Naismith.

The hosts continued to push forward, though, and finally broke Rangers' resistance, Hamad finding space on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable dipping volley into the top right-hand corner. Malmö will discover their play-off opponents when the draw is made on Friday.