Union Saint-Gilloise boss admits 'surprise' over big Rangers decision and makes claim over where tie was lost

Union Saint-Gilloise coach Karel Geraerts insisted his team weren’t “blown away” at Ibrox as Rangers produced the 3-0 scoreline required to progress to a Champions League play-off against PSV Eindhoven.

Geraets instead bemoaned self-inflicted damage both in the decider and even in his team’s 2-0 home success a week earlier. But the Belgian did seem to believe his side were on the wrong end of rethink from then increasingly scatty Greek referee Tasos Sidiropoulos, The official booked the already cautioned James Sands for what looked a legitimate challenge on Dante Vanzeir with the score at 2-0, only to rescind the card after consultation with his assistant, and amid protests from home players. Asked if that incident had been a surprise to him, Gareats said; “Yes, it surprised me. Once the referee makes a decision, we cannot turn it back to accept that decision, so it’s no problem.”

The problems that troubled him were those caused by the needless concession of a handball penalty by defender Siebe van der Heyden that brought the fist goal on the stroke of half-time. And then, for the decisive third, keeper Anthony Moris allowed a ball to drop over him to allow Malik Tillman to knock in from close range.

‘It was lost last week for us because it was only 2-0 in the home game,” he said. “I think at that moment we played better and had chances to score a third goal. So we knew when we came to the away game in this great stadium with this magnificent crowd that it would be hard. We were very well organised I think, we didn’t give away chances. We controlled everything very well and just in front of half-time we gave away a goal with an individual mistake.

Union Saint-Gilloise's Guillame Francois looks dejected at full time against Rangers.

“The second half was the same scenario. We came out good and the second half gave the opponent more confidence and when you see the third goal there was a communication problem with the defence. We were not blown away here, but we gave them some goals today and that’s the difference between us and a team like Rangers which has the experience.”

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