Rangers twice let lead slip in 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven in Champions League playoff 1st leg

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Rangers twice let a lead slip away in a 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of a Champions League qualifying playoff on Tuesday.

PSV captain Luuk de Jong’s header in the 80th minute — though he appeared to know little about the decisive contact he made — was a second leveler for the 1988 European Cup winner which hosts the return game next week.

In other playoff first legs, Royal Antwerp held on with 10 men from the 50th minute for a 1-0 win over visiting AEK Athens, and Copenhagen won 1-0 in Poland against competition debutant Raków Częstochowa.

Second-leg games are on Aug. 30 and winners advance to the lucrative 32-team group stage which is drawn the next day in Monaco.

Rangers and PSV played to another 2-2 draw in Glasgow as they did at the same stage in Champions League qualifying exactly one year ago. Then, Rangers went on to win 1-0 in Eindhoven.

The Scottish club first led in the 45th when Senegal forward Abdallah Sima sent a rising shot past goalkeeper Walter Benítez. It resulted from PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangaré losing the ball inside the penalty area.

Sangaré made amends by equalizing in the 61st. The Ivory Coast international, who has been a reported transfer target for Bayern Munich and Liverpool, placed his right-footed shot when in space near the penalty spot after teammate Ismael Saibari cleverly faked to shoot.

Rangers led again in the 76th when substitute Rabbi Matondo finished a fast break with a sweeping first-time shot. The advantage lasted less than four minutes before veteran Netherlands forward De Jong struck.

Another Dutch forward, Vincent Janssen, gave Antwerp victory in its first game in the competition since the European Cup in 1957.

Janssen, the former Tottenham forward, scored with a low left-footed shot in the 16th. Antwerp had defender Jelle Bataille sent off in the 50th for a bad foul.

AEK will host the second leg next week at its stadium near where one of its fans was killed in violent clashes with visiting Dinamo Zagreb fans two weeks ago.

Copenhagen protected a ninth-minute lead gifted when Raków’s Romanian defender Bogdan Racovițan deflected a cross into his own net.

Three more playoff first legs are on Wednesday: Maccabi Haifa vs. Young Boys, Molde vs. Galatasaray, and Braga vs. Panathinaikos.


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The Associated Press