The incredible Rangers Euro stat that underlines Braga challenge for Gio van Bronckhorst

Giovanni van Bronckhorst will have to do something Rangers have managed just FIVE times in their entire history if he is to lead his side into the Europa League semi-final.

That’s the number of occasions the Ibrox club have progressed in European competition after losing the first leg.

But they will have to improve that statistic as they look to overturn the 1-0 deficit from last week’s away leg against Braga.

Rangers made their debut in Europe in 1956 when they took on French side Nice and have enjoyed some special nights at Ibrox in the 66 years since.

They will need to produce another against the Portuguese outfit and here RecordSport looks back at the five occasions they have bounced back from a first leg loss to progress.

Juventus – 1978/79

This is one of the best results in the club’s history and of any Scottish club in European competition.

The mighty Italians boasted NINE players who had been part of the Azzurri squad who came so close to reaching the World Cup final in Argentina just a few months earlier.

And after a struggling start to the season domestically and having lost the first leg 1-0 in Turin, few would have predicted such an epic night at Ibrox.

But John Greig’s men turned the tie around thanks to goals in either half from Alex MacDonald and Gordon Smith before losing to Cologne in the quarter finals.

Bohemians – 1984/85

This was a real scare for Rangers who looked set for an embarrassing exit at the hands of the Irish outfit.

At the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, Jock Wallace’s men lost 3-2 in a first leg tie in Dublin marred by off-field incidents.

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On the pitch it was also a bad night for the Ibrox side despite twice taking the lead through a young Ally McCoist and Dave McPherson.

It should have been more comfortable in the return but Rangers toiled and were rescued by two goals in the final six minutes from Craig Paterson and Ian Redford to book a glamor tie with Inter Milan.

Dynamo Kyiv – 1987/88

Like the aforementioned Juventus tie, this one of the most memorable European nights at Ibrox with an electric atmosphere.

Again, just as they were after Turin and currently against Braga, the Ibrox side trailed 1-0 from the first leg away from home.

Celebrations for Mark Falco after he netted against Dynamo

The Ukrainian outfit were regarded as one of the best outfits and in Oleg Blokhin had one of the best players in Europe.

Graeme Souness famously narrowed the pitch in a bid to contain the legendary winger and it worked as Rangers ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ally McCoist and Mark Falco.

Maritime – 2004/05

A poor start to the season continued as Alex McLeish found himself under severe pressure after Gustavo Manduca’s goal earned the Portuguese victory in Madeira.

Given Prso’s goal at Ibrox leveled the tie on aggregate to force a penalty shoot-out on a nail-biting night at Ibrox.

And it was the Light Blues who progressed with Gregory Vignal netting the spot kick to put McLeish’s men through to the UEFA Cup group stage.

Hapoel Tel Aviv – 2006/07

This UEFA Cup tie came early in Walter Smith’s second spell in charge of the club as he tried to pick up the pieces of the disastrous Paul Le Guen reign.

Elyaniv Barda faced Rangers while playing for Hapoel Tel-Aviv in 2007

Rangers went down 2-1 in Israel with Nacho Novo scoring the vital away goal as the Spaniard knocked home from close range after Barry Ferguson’s free kick hit the post.

If it was a close encounter away from home then the return was the opposite as Smith’s side strolled to a 4-0 victory thanks to a Ferguson double and goals from Kris Boyd and Charlie Adam.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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