ALFREDO MORELOS didn’t travel with the squad for tonight’s clash after a dramatic fallout with Giovanni van Bronckhorst.  

But there’s a new Rangers hero after Antonio Colak’s goal sends his side through to the Champions’ League group stages for the first time since the 2010/11 season.  

Rangers players celebrate Antonio Colak's goal

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Rangers players celebrate Antonio Colak’s goalCredit: Getty

PSV fans did all they could before the match to prevent a Scottish party in Eindhoven tonight.  

They tried to disturb the Rangers players’ sleeps last night by letting off fireworks outside their hotel.  

And they even stopped the Gers team bus in its tracks on its way to the stadium as they hoped to disturb their preparation for the match.  

But it wasn’t enough to put an end to the Euro resurgence under Van Bronckhorst as Rangers came out on top to win 3-2 on aggregate.  

Both sides knew a whopping £40milion jackpot and a place in Europe’s most prestigious competition was on the cards for the winner of tonight’s tie.  

And the Light Blues battled for 90 minutes to overcome their 2-2 stalemate at Ibrox last week as they held PSV at bay on Dutch soil. 

They will now join Celtic in tomorrow’s group stage draw in Istanbul to find out their European fate and to see which European giants they will face up against in the coming months.  

The absence of target man Morelos was the talking point before the match tonight after Van Bronckhorst left him out of the squad, leaving Colak as his only option up top.

He put his faith in the Croatian hitman and it paid off as he added another goal to his Rangers tally.

And it won’t get any sweeter than his strike tonight.

Van Bronckhorst opted for a familiar back four, with Jon McLaughlin getting the nod between the sticks.

Borna Barisic, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and James Sands lined up at the back.

Glen Kamara earned a surprise start in midfield alongside John Lundstram and Tom Lawrence.

Colak lead the line, supported by Ryan Kent and Malik Tillman on the wings.

It was an unchanged side for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was confident in the players who held Rangers to a draw last week.

And it was his Dutch team who controlled possession early doors with Joey Veerman dictating the tempo in the middle of the park.  

The 23-year-old came close to agreeing a deal with Rangers last summer, and he showed fans what they were missing out on as he controlled the Eredivise side’s midfield tonight.  

It was the deadly duo Luuk De Jong and Man Utd target Cody Gakpo who came close for PSV in the opening few minutes though, but they couldn’t direct their efforts goalwards.  

The Gers opted for an extremely high line at the back, allowing the likes of Gakpo and Ismael Saibari the space to run in behind.  

But after weathering the early storm, it was Kent who burst onto the scene to create his side’s first real chance of the game.  

On the 12th minute, the winger darted at Jordan Teze and Andre Ramalho as he cut in on his right foot for a shot, but it was well-saved by Walter Benitez.  

Kent wasn’t done there though as he delivered a dangerous cross in for Colak just moments later, but the Croatian failed to get on the end of it.  

The passages of play gave Rangers confidence as they started to grow into the tie.  

By 20 minutes in, the roles had reversed and it was Van Bronckhorst’s men who looked the home team in the clash.  

And Lundstram was nearly the man who broke the deadlock around the half hour mark as he fired a thunderbolt from outside the box towards Benitez, but it flew wide of the post.  

At the other end of the park, teammate Sands nearly became the Ibrox villain as he gifted De Jong the ball from a goal-kick.  

Luckily, defensive partner Goldson was there to step in and deny Gakpo though, after he was handed a clear-cut chance by the 38-cap international.  

It didn’t take long for De Jong to have an even better chance after he was given the ball on a plate on the 39th minute.  

Saibari whipped in a fantastic cross which beat both Sands and Goldson on the lunge, but fortunately for Rangers, De Jong wasn’t quick enough and it trickled away out of danger.  

Teze then tried a similar chance, this time reaching the target man who beat Goldson, but McLaughlin was there to parry it clear.  

The half-time whistle came at the perfect time for the Light Blues as PSV were on the attack yet again.  

This time it was Gakpo who was played through by Erick Gutierrez, and the forward got the better of Goldson, but couldn’t keep his shot down as Rangers were let off with another chance.  

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Rangers were handed a huge boost after the break as De Jong was forced off through injury to be replaced by Xavi Simons.  

The wonderkid is no stranger to a goal after netting two in two in the Dutch top flight since arriving at the club, but De Jong caused the visitors all sorts of bother in the first half.  

Despite losing their key man, PSV started the second 45 just like the first.  

They were in control.  

Lawrence showed them they couldn’t allow Rangers any space though, as the playmaker came ever so close to grabbing the opening goal.  

He danced round the PSV defenders before having a pop from long range, which saw the ball smash off the crossbar and back into play.  

But while it was Van Bronckhorst’s side’s best chance of the half, it wasn’t quite as good as their break of play moments later.  

Tillman cleverly intercepted a goal-kick from Benitez as he tried to play the ball out from the back.  

He snatched the ball off them in the box and picked out Colak who was free and waiting in the six-yard box for a cutback.  

And the Croatian was able to smash it home into an empty net to fire Rangers ahead.  

Van Bronckhorst would have been happy to see anyone find the net tonight, but it will have been extra special to see Colak being the hero as he stepped up to the plate in Morelos’ absence.  

They were ahead on the night and in the tie, but it was far from over.

Phillip Max and Gakpo came close with chances, only to be denied by McLaughlin in the Rangers goal.

The Gers continued to batten up the hatches as the Dutch pushed more and more men forward.

But they couldn’t breakthrough the disciplined defence as Rangers saw out the final minutes to keep an important clean sheet, which fired them through to the group stages.


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