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Europa League qualifying: Rangers and Aberdeen safely through, Kilmarnock stunned

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Here is a round-up of Thursday night’s action in the Europa League first qualifying round…

Chelsea won the Europa League last season
getty

Rangers 6-0 St Joseph’s (10-0 agg)

Rangers set up a Europa League revenge mission with Progres Neiderkorn as they completed their demolition job on St Joseph’s with a 6-0 win at Ibrox.

Alfredo Morelos struck his third Gers hat-trick as Jermain Defoe’s double and Joe Aribo strike sealed a 10-goal aggregate triumph.

And now having swept aside the minnows of Gibraltar, the Light Blues will welcome their old foes from Luxembourg to Glasgow next Thursday as they look to lay to rest the Neiderkorn ghosts of two years ago.

Thankfully for the Ibrox faithful, the team now managed by Steven Gerrard bear little resemblance to Pedro Caixinha’s team of that time.

The Portuguese boss presided over arguably the club’s worst ever result when Rangers crashed out to the Grand Duchy part-timers in the opening qualifier of the 2017/18 campaign.

But it would be an even bigger shock should Progres repeat the feat against a squad now bursting with attacking options.

Alfredo Morelos found the back of the net

RoPS 1-2 Aberdeen (2-4 agg)

Lewis Ferguson scored with the last kick of the ball to earn Aberdeen victory in Finland and ensure they progress in the Europa League qualifiers.

The Dons suffered a shocking start to the second leg, with RoPS Rovaniemi netting inside two minutes to put themselves in the driving seat on the away goals rule.

But Sam Cosgrove converted a 27th-minute penalty and Aberdeen endured precious few scares before Ferguson broke clear right at the end of four minutes of stoppage-time to seal a 2-1 victory.

The 4-2 aggregate win sends Derek McInnes and his players into the second qualifying round to take on Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere.

Lewis Ferguson scored at the death

Kilmarnock 0-2 Connah’s Quay Nomads (2-3 agg)

New Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio endured a nightmare home debut as the Rugby Park side crashed out of the Europa League qualifiers to Welsh underdogs Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Rugby Park was hosting its first European tie in 18 years and Kilmarnock were looking to build on their 2-1 first-leg lead and secure a tie against Partizan Belgrade in the second qualifying round, but instead it was Connah’s Quay who progressed following a sensational 2-0 win.

Second-half goals from Ryan Wignall and Callum Morris (penalty) turned the tie on its head and ensured former Chelsea, Juventus and Italy assistant manager Alessio had a home debut to forget.

Both sides ended the match with 10 men as Stuart Findlay was shown a straight red for conceding the penalty and then goalscorer Wignall was sent packing in the closing stages.

Kilmarnock had worked wonders to qualify for Europe under former boss and now Scotland manager Steve Clarke but this was a humiliating exit.

For Connah’s Quay and their manager Andy Morrison this was a wonderful result and they proudly march on in the competition.

A disaster for Angelo Alessio
GEtty



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