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Edu earns Rangers last-gasp qualification

Sporting Clube de Portugal 2-2 Rangers FC (agg: 3-3, Rangers win on away goals)
Ahead and then behind, Maurice Edu put the visitors through in added time in Lisbon.

Rangers celebrate after the final whistle in Lisbon
Rangers celebrate after the final whistle in Lisbon ©Getty Images

Maurice Edu's 92nd-minute goal earned Rangers FC a dramatic away-goals victory against Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Held to a 1-1 draw late on in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie last week, Rangers nevertheless edged ahead overall through El Hadji Diouf's first-half header. Pedro Mendes struck a sweet equaliser against his former side and Yannick Djaló looked to have won it for the hosts with seven minutes left. Edu soon saw to that, however.

Yannick's early drive, though comfortably dealt with by Allan McGregor, suggested an attacking punch from Sporting which was absent thereafter. Having coped without alarm for 20 minutes, Rangers delivered a classic sucker punch.

Diouf, without a goal in 11 months, could scarcely have requested more silver-plated service to end his drought. Steven Davis's cross hung delightfully in the air, Sporting's marking was inconspicuous and the on-loan forward headed in with minimal fuss.

Walter Smith's charges appeared comfortable until Mendes, having already chanced his arm once, consummately caressed first time into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. Reinvigorated, Paulo Sérgio's team had a new-found zip after half-time; Matías Fernández's free-kick nearly caught McGregor unawares, while João Pereira headed over having broke the offside trap.

Lacking their earlier shape, the visitors had a solitary chance of their own, Davis denied with a close-range header. They were soon caught cold at the other end. João Pereira opted to turn provider after his frustrations in front of goal, whipping in a fierce cross which Yannick headed in at the back post having stolen in unnoticed.

Carlos Saleiro's late slice appeared inconsequential, but Rangers were not done yet: substitute David Healy slid the ball across goal and Edu bundled it in from barely a metre out. PSV Eindhoven await in the last 16.