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Rangers, Copenhagen reach Champions League group stage

champions league qualifying play off first leg rangers v psv eindhoven
Rangers will play at European football's top table for the first time in more than a decade after stunning PSV Eindhoven to reach the Champions League group stage

Rangers returned to the Champions League group stage for the first time in 12 years with a 1-0 win at PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday while Dinamo Zagreb also qualified with an extra-time win over Norway’s Bodo/Glimt.

Antonio Colak tapped in the winner for the Glasgow side on the hour after Milik Tillam robbed PSV defender Andre Ramalho and slipped the ball across the box to the Croatian forward who made no mistake.

Rangers reached the Europa League final last season, losing to Eintracht Frankfurt, and their return to the group stage of the Champions League completes an impressive turn-around for the Scottish club.

After being hit by financial troubles and going into liquidation, Rangers had to start again in the fourth tier of Scottish football in 2012.

“It’s difficult to describe in words, it was a great team performance. It’s an amazing journey we’ll have this year and I’m so proud of all of these guys,” said Colak.

“I was in tears on the pitch, it was just a moment of joy. As a kid I always wanted to compete at this level and to be here is amazing,” he added.

With Celtic also in the group stage, Scotland will have both their giants in the elite competition for the first time since 2007/08.

Dinamo Zagreb needed extra time to get past Norway’s Bodo/Glimt 4-1, securing a 4-2 aggregate win, after letting their early advantage slip.

Mislav Orsic fired Dinamo ahead from a tight angle in the fourth minute and then a brilliant bicycle kick from Bruno Petkovic extended the lead, making it 2-1 on aggregate.

But the Norwegian champions fought their way back into the game with Albert Gronbaek levelling the tie on aggregate in the 70th minute with a shot which Dinamo keeper Dominik Livakovic should have kept out.

But early in the second period of extra time Dinamo restored their advantage with a composed finish from the edge of the box by Josip Drmic and then made sure of victory with a goal on the break from Petar Bockaj.

FC Copenhagen also made into the group stage after a 0-0 draw at Turkey’s Trabzonspor secured a 2-1 aggregate win.

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