Rangers learn Champions League qualifier destination after HJK Helsinki-Malmo second leg
A 2-2 draw in Helsinki against Alfredo Morelos’ old club HJK was enough to take the Swedes through to the penultimate qualifying round before the group stages – and set up a clash with the Scottish champions in Scandinavia next week.
Leading 2-1 from the first leg Malmo fell behind within seconds of the return leg when Miro Tenho made the scores 2-2 on aggregate.
However Anders Christiansen, who also struck in the first leg, and then Veljko Birmancevic put them in the riving seat approaching the final 15 minutes.
But Helsinki’s equaliser reduced the aggregate advantage through Riku Riski but after six minutes of injury time there was no further home goal to send the tie into extra-time.
That means it's a return to his homeland for Filip helander and a return tie with Malmo for Rangers – who last faced the club in 2011 on their last Champions League qualification campaign.
Ally McCoist’s side, then Scottish champions after title 54, were eliminated and then also sent tumbling from the Europa League by NK Maribor in the play-off ahead of some turbulent times at Ibrox.
The first leg will be played at the Eleda Stadion next Tuesday with the return on August 10. Rangers have said no away tickets will be available but are anticipating a bumper crowd for the second leg, where the winner would face one further two-legged tie in the Champions League play-off to decide which group stage – Europa League or UCL itself – the club would compete in.