Brondby 1-1 Rangers: Steven Gerrard's side go level on points with Sparta Prague

Last update on. From the section Europa League
Rangers went to Denmark without Rangers without a point from Ianis Hagi

Rangers' substitute Ianis Hagi won a crucial point against Brondby, allowing them to draw level with Sparta Prague in Europa League group A.

Half-time was dominated by the Danes, as Leon Balogun scored his first goal for the hosts in the group.

Steven Gerrard's side had previously come close to Alfredo Morelos, Fashion Sakala.

Hagi, however, jumped on Ryan Kent's pass and smashed the ball past Mads Hermansen.

Rangers and Sparta will face off in the next round. Brondby is three points behind. With an eight-point lead and two games remaining, leaders Lyon are assured of a place in the last-16.

The second-placed team will be sent to the preliminary knockout round, with eight other teams dropping from the Champions League. Third place secures a Europa Conference League knockout spot.

Rangers lost their first goal in three games after beating Brondby last week and were determined to get back on track.

Morelos believed he had given them an early lead by converting a James Tavernier corner. But the delivery was lost. Colombia's striker was allowed to touch a Borna-Barisic cross, but he shot wide and then fired narrowly wide.

Sakala was also a threat to visitors, chasing Joe Aribo and dragging wide. Connor Goldson's dangerous head at a corner was blocked by Sakala.

After a lackluster attack by the Danish hosts, they began to take advantage of corners and Christian Cappis nodded on a Josip Radosvic delivery. Balogun's intervention was enough to win the ball over Allan McGregor at the half-time break. Two weeks earlier, Rangers had scored their opener against the Danes.

Brondby could have had a double-digit lead with Kevin Tshiembe's crucial block in the second period.

Gerrard drew Morelos and Sakala, and Arfield threw on Hagi and Kemar Roofe, with Kent returning from a six week hamstring injury.

Balogun was looking for redemption in a corner after he tried Hermansen's Goldson header, but the goalkeeper made a good save.

Brondby started to sit deeper, and when Kent received Aribo’s intelligent pass and drove forward, Hagi stepped in to pick up the through ball from Aribo and finished with style.

Roofe scored a header in the corner that gave Rangers the win. The forward was only able to score the goal from the side netting.

James Tavernier - Man of the Match

Rangers captain (left) initiated the move that led to Rangers goal and made some crucial interceptions

What we learned

Rangers have not been friends with defense this season, and Brondby was encouraged by the number of corners they won.

Too often, the visitors were too poor with their ball use and they didn't create enough chances. However, Sakala and Morelos could have been more precise in scoring the visitors' goals in the first period.

Kent's debut was a game-changer as the Englishman showed glimpses of his form last season.

They said it!

Steven Gerrard, Rangers manager: "I believe there was more for us than a point. In the first half, we've been underperforming. The substitutions made a huge difference.

"It was a great goal. It's great that Ryan Kent is back. We were the team that was going to win the game if there was a team."

Ianis Hagi, Rangers' scorer, told BT Sport that it was a draw. We came here to win, but we didn't win. We took that point, and now we need to win the remaining two games in order to advance to the next round.

"Our mentality should have been better right from the start. Rangers are Rangers, and Rangers have to be here to win, and not wait until the second half to attack.

What's next?

Rangers will play Ross County in Sunday's Scottish Premiership match. Their next Europa League match is against Sparta Prague, 25 November.

Match stats

Rangers have faced Danish teams more often than any other country (10 - W8D2)

Brondby was the first team to score a goal but not to be scored in a Europa League match, since Lazio against Nice on November 2017.

Rangers conceded two goals in the Europa League in their past two matches. Only one of their 41 previous goals in the competition came from a corner.

Ianis Hagi scored his first strike in 12 Rangers appearances in all competitions since August's win against Dunfermline.

Leon Balogun's goal at the half-hour mark was Leon Balogun’s fifth Europa League goal since 2019-20. This is more than any other Rangers in that period.