Ibrox reaction: Can Rangers really win the Europa League? Gio Van Bronckhorst has say after epic Braga win
“Make us dream” implored the banner in the Broomloan Road stand. Rangers responded by finally getting over the line against Braga to book a Europa League semi-final appointment against RB Leipzig.
However, things were not quite as straightforward as it initially appeared would be the case. Having set up camp in the Braga half for most of the game and scoring two goals through skipper James Tavernier, Rangers were guilty of one moment of slackness at a set-play when Luri Medeiros’ corner was headed in by David Carmo with seven minutes left.
It prompted some jitters as Rangers simply sought to reach the relative security of full-time, when they knew they would have another 30 minutes to get the goal they needed against ten men. In the end, it was nine men after Medeiros joined Vitor Tormena, sent off at the end of the first half, in the away changing room. Kemar Roof scored the all-important goal after 101 minutes. Now the dream is becoming ever more real. Rangers are one tie away from a European final against either West Ham or Eintracht Frankfurt, who they lost to 12-4 on aggregate in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1960.
These are heady times at Ibrox despite the disappointment of trailing Celtic by six points in the league. The prospect of lifting only their second-ever European trophy is an exciting one. Even reaching the final would be an achievement. But with Barcelona and Lyon having now been eliminated, there is now a feeling of why can’t Rangers win it?
Van Bronckhorst was asked about this possibility shortly after the 3-1 victory over Braga. There are not many managers who can include the memory of playing in a World Cup final – as Van Bronckhorst did in 2010, when the Netherlands lost to Spain in extra-time in South Africa – in his answer.
“Well, we are getting closer,” he said. “But I played in a World Cup final, played extra-time in the World Cup final and lost it. In the end we had nothing.
“You have to push hard until you have the prize and that’s what we are going to do. We are going to enjoy this night and work hard for the coming games to give this club success. We will do everything possible.”
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