Smith seeks Hapoel redress

Walter Smith will look to overcome Rangers FC's first UEFA Cup defeat of the season as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC bring a 2-1 lead to Glasgow in the Round of 32.

Walter Smith will look to overcome Rangers FC's first UEFA Cup defeat of the season as Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC bring a 2-1 lead to Glasgow in the Round of 32.

• A tremendous Salim Toema free-kick gave Hapoel the lead at the Bloomfield Stadium just before half-time. Nacho Novo bundled in an equaliser for Rangers but Barukh Dego pounced to score the winner 14 minutes from time.

• Hapoel qualified for the Round of 32 as the third-placed side in UEFA Cup Group G. Rangers finished top of Group A.

• Prior to the first leg, the two sides had never met in European competition.

• Hapoel had been drawn against Scottish opposition once before, losing 3-0 on aggregate against Rangers' local rivals Celtic FC in the first round of the 1999/00 UEFA Cup. Current Hapoel goalkeeper Shavit Elimelech and midfielder Toema played in both legs of that tie.

• Rangers have now played four games against Israeli opponents. Before last week's first leg against Hapoel, they had won 5-3 on aggregate against Beitar Jerusalem FC in a 1998/99 UEFA Cup first-round tie and then beat Maccabi Haifa FC 2-0 in this season's UEFA Cup group stage, with Novo and Charles Adam scoring the goals.

• The first leg was Walter Smith's first European match in charge of Rangers since standing down as Scotland manager to replace Paul Le Guen during the winter break. He almost guided Rangers to the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League final during his first spell at Ibrox.

• Nir Levin led Hapoel for the first time in European competition in the first leg, having taken over from Itzhak Shum as coach on 6 February. The former Hapoel Petach-Tikva FC player and coach previously led Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC to the second round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup.

• The first-leg lineups were:
Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Svensson, Weir, Rae, Ferguson, Hemdani, Novo (Sionko 79), Burke (Adam 84), Murray, Boyd.
Hapoel Tel-Aviv: Elimelech, Abukasis (Tal Chen 83), Ogbona (Vermouth 87), Antebi, Badir, Bondarv, Barda, Dego, Doani, Wellington (De Bruno 67), Toema.

• The aggregate winners will face FC Girondins de Bordeaux or CA Osasuna in the Round of 16, playing the home leg on 8 March and the away second leg a week later.