By Ross Doyle
Urinea Urziceni beat Rangers 4-1 last night almost ending their hopes of qualification for the second round of the Champion’s League after a stunning 90 minutes which included 3 own-goals.
The home crowd expressed their frustrations at the end of the game, with loud cheering and various objects thown onto the pitch, while many of the supporters had exited the stadium long before the final whistle.
The Romanian side arrived at Ibrox yesterday expecting a difficult evening with the away side yet to record a win in European competition in their history so far. But it was the Scottish Champions who will have now been left to pick up the pieces as their qualification hopes look to be in serious jeapardy.
The game started brightly for the home side as Pedro Mendes’ deflected drive looped high into the top corner of the net in the second minute.
But 4 goals, including three in 16 minutes in the second half, from the Romanian Champions inflicted a second consecutive 4-1 reversal for Rangers after they suffered the same against Seville in the previous match.
Rangers manager Walter Smith blamed poor defending in the post-match interview, “we lost three goals we should not be losing”. he also commented on the decline of the performance after taking an early lead, “after a good start, we did not impose ourselves on the game.”
Dan Petrescu, manager of Urinea, was pleased with the result, “I don’t think it was easy for us” he also reacted to comments on the change of fortunes after half-time, “My players did well in the second half after we scored the second goal but we did not play well in the first half.”
Rangers will now likely have to compete for third place in the group although fellow Group G strugglers Stuttgart also suffered a home defeat last night to group leaders Sevilla. Their next fixture will be away in Romania with the opportunity to regain some pride and re-ignite their faltering European campaign with 3 points crucial to any involvement in European competition after Christmas.