Rangers in control after Europa League win over St Joseph’s

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Four second-half goals have put Rangers in the driving seat after the first leg of their Europa League qualifying tie against St Joseph’s in Gibraltar.

Rangers were held by their semi-professional opponents in the first half but goals from Ryan Jack, Sheyi Ojo, Connor Goldson and Alfredo Morelos should be enough to see them progress to the next round.

St Josephs nullified Rangers’ threat well in the opening stages. Jermain Defoe came close after Jordan Jones’ cut-back but his shot was blocked by Federico Villar.

Glen Kamara then hit the side-netting before Steven Davis curled the ball wide on the verge of half time.

Rangers came out strongly in the second half, with Ojo diverting the ball over from 12 yards.

They finally got the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Borna Barisic’s cross found Jack to volley past goalkeeper Fran Mateo.

Jones could have doubled Rangers’ lead two minutes later but shot wide from 20 yards.

The second did come before the hour mark, though. Ojo capitalised on a poor defensive header to curl a shot beyond the goalkeeper.

Mateo did well to keep the score at two from Rangers next attack. It was Ojo once again, but this time Mateo did well to push the ball away.

Goldson added a third from a free-kick minutes later though. Barisic’s shot was stopped by Mateo but the defender was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Morelos, who had come off the bench 15 minutes earlier, added a fourth in the 76th minute. James Tavernier’s cross found Morelos to head over the line despite Mateo’s best efforts to keep the ball out.

Ojo, a summer loan signing from Liverpool, continued to hunt down a fifth but his shot from the right was saved before the final whistle.

The teams will meet again at Ibrox next Thursday.

Cover Photo: Alex Chapman [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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