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Bursaspor 1 - 1 Rangers
Miller slams the opening goal for Rangers in Bursa
By Keir Murray
Rangers were pegged back by a late Sercan Yildirim strike for Bursaspor, most likely ending their chances of being seeded in the Europa League.
Kenny Miller lashed a cracking left-foot shot past Yavuz Ozkan in 19 minutes to put the Ibrox side ahead.
And his Scotland strike partner Steven Naismith ought to have headed another.
But the Turkish champions pushed Rangers back for most of the second half, with Federico Insua going close with a free-kick before they levelled.
Rangers fashioned the first chance of the match when Miller, in his familiar role as lone striker, dashed down the left and had his cross cut out by the Turks' goalkeeper Ozkan a fraction before it was set to land on Naismith's head.
Bursaspor, sitting second in their domestic league, had suffered a dismal Champions League campaign prior to this match.
Indeed, they had not registered a point and were keen to avoid joining Fenerbahce as a Turkish side that had lost all six group games.
With Argentine Insua pulling the strings in midfield, the Turkish champions enjoyed plenty of touches on the ball but their first-half attempts to break down the Scots' rearguard were unconvincing.
Their best early chance came by way of a mistake by Kyle Hutton when the 19-year-old central midfielder was caught in possession at the edge of his penalty box.
However, he had the frame of Leonel Nunez to thank when he inadvertently blocked Huseyin Cimsir's fierce shot.
Miller's last goal in this tournament was in Celtic colours, though he had notched one for Rangers a decade ago.
His finish to break the deadlock was almost worth the wait.
Steven Whittaker surged down the left wing and hit a low cross behind the line of retreating green and white jerseys.
The top scorer in Scottish football stepped back and met the ball forcefully with his left boot to lash it past Ozkan.
Madjid Bougherra had returned to the defence to join Whittaker and David Weir in a three-man central defensive formation and stifled the attacking threat of Yildirim and Insua.
The latter blazed over the bar from 10 yards after showing good awareness to find space, and Bekir Has tried a long-range shot that trundled into McGregor's arms.
Rangers might have grabbed a second goal in the first half. Darren Cole, making his first-team debut at 18, advanced from his right-back berth and looped a cross towards the back post where Naismith ought to have done better than head over the crossbar.
Defender Omer Erdogan came on for Serdar Aziz and Huseyin Cimsir left the field to be replaced by midfielder Pablo Batalla as Ertugrul Saglam re-jigged his team.
Ozan Ipek pinged a ball across the six-yard box that McGregor managed to nick off the toe of Insua, then Batalla finished a one-two with that player, poking his shot a yard wide of the Rangers goal.
Bursaspor were looking the more inventive as the second period progressed but could not manage to work their way past the visitors.
From a Batalla corner, the ball was headed out to Has, who crashed a dipping volley just over the bar from 20 yards.
As the Green Crocodiles camped in Rangers' half, they won a free-kick in a central position 25 yards out. Insua's curler evaded the wall and the despairing McGregor but was fractionally wide of the upright.
James Beattie made his return from a hip injury, replacing Miller, and Vladimir Weiss took the place of Naismith for the final exchanges.
The pair had retreated into their own half as play slid towards the Rangers goal, but combined on the break only for the promising move to break down when the Slovakian attempted to be too fancy when a simple pass would have at least have kept possession.
Rangers eventually cracked under the pressure. Ipek nipped past Cole and crossed into the box where the alert Yildirim took one touch and poked the ball into the net.
The Turks searched for the winner and the goalscorer may have added a second when, after a slick one-two with Insua, he weaved into the box and fell to the turf instead of shooting at goal.
Yildirim claimed he had been tripped by Weir but the referee allowed McGregor to collect the ball and settle his defence.
The SPL champions held on in the final minutes to take their tally to six points, almost certainly not enough to make them a seeded team in the Europa League round of 32.
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