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Giovanni van Bronckhorst keeps believing after Rangers’ Champions League draw

Rangers can still make Champions League says Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Steve Welsh/PA)
Rangers can still make Champions League says Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Steve Welsh/PA)

Giovanni van Bronckhorst believes Rangers can still qualify for the Champions League, despite a 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of their play-off tie at Ibrox.

The visitors took the lead in the 37th minute through defender Ibrahim Sangare but  Antonio Colak levelled three minutes later, the Croatia striker scoring for the fourth game in a row.

PSV goalkeeper Walter Benitez blundered in the 69th minute, allowing Tom Lawrence’s free-kick to cross the line, but PSV defender Armando Obispo headed in an equaliser with 12 minutes remaining to keep the tie in the balance ahead of next week’s return in Eindhoven.

The Dutchman told BT Sport:  “We got the free-kick from Tom to go 2-1 up but you know, all goals count. How you score doesn’t matter.

“In the end, we lost a goal from a set piece and that was disappointing. But the tie is still open and we have the chance to go through next week.

“Of course we can do it. It’s the second leg, they play at home and hopefully we can get more space and try to win. We have to do that to get our goal and we will give everything.”

Van Bronckhorst will be looking for his side to defend set pieces better after they conceded two goals from corners.

He said: “We were a bit unlucky with the first goal. We had the first contact but the ball stayed in the area.

“The second? We have to be stronger and get first contact on the corner.

“It was a very close game. The differences aren’t that big and we saw that in this game.

“PSV got the first goal and that’s always important but we fought back well.

“We scored a good goal to make it 1-1 and then you saw the game we wanted with high tempo and speed going forward.

“But this was a high quality game against a good side. This is the level we want to compete at.

“PSV showed they are a good team at big moments and so did we. That is why the game ended 2-2.”

Ruud van Nistelrooy, who took over PSV in the summer, was happy to meet up again with his former Manchester United manager – Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Ibrox stand to watch his former side.

The 46-year-old said: “I was proud that he watched. I’m glad he’s well. I spoke to him just briefly but he’s well and looking great. His family is well.

“It was great to see him. For him to see me on the touchline at Ibrox is a proud moment for me.

“I learned so much from him. When you develop yourself as a coach, you obviously look back at the managers you had, what they did, how they formed a team, the style of play and how they managed individuals. He is such an example in that sense.”

Looking forward to the return game in front of his own fans, the former Netherlands team-mate of van Bronckhorst added: “Next week we have that support but both teams are very level with playing styles so it is reduced to one game, a final at home.

“So we have to prepare and be at our best to get a good game against Rangers.

“I thought it was a game with two halves, Rangers were on top in the first half, although of course we had the goal.

“We were on top in the second half and created more chances. 2-2 was a fair result and now it is reduced to one game.”