Van Bronckhorst plays down Rangers’ chances of Europa League glory despite ‘big achievement’

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst Rangers

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was full of pride after Rangers reached the Europa League semi-final with an exhausting 3-2 aggregate win against nine-man Braga after extra-time at Ibrox.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Portugal last week, Gers captain James Tavernier levelled after just over a minute then scored from the spot just before the break after Braga defender Vitor Tormena was sent off for denying Gers striker Kemar Roofe a goalscoring opportunity

The Light Blues were stunned in the 83rd minute when David Carmo scored to level the tie at 2-2 and take it to extra-time where Roofe pounced to score the winner in the 101st minute before substitute Iuri Medeiros was also sent packing as Rangers won to set up a semi-final meeting with RB Leipzig.

The Gers manager said: “It feels very big, very good at the moment. It was the result we wanted.

“We started the game really well, a lot of pressure up front and lots of chances

“I am just happy we are through, it is a big achievement to be in the last four of Europe and I am really proud of the performance of my team.

“You play against one man less then two men. We looked a bit nervous and tense at moments.

“It was only in the last five or six minutes of the second period of extra-time that we kept the ball and played the game out and got the win to go through to the next round.”

Asked if Rangers could win the tournament, the former Netherlands skipper said: “Well, we are getting closer. But I played in a World Cup final, played extra-time in the World Cup final and lost it.

“In the end we had nothing. You have to push hard until you have the prize and that’s what we are going to do.

“We are going to enjoy this night and work hard for the coming games to give this club success. We will do everything possible.”

Hard work the key for Kemar Roofe 

Roofe described the win which took Rangers into their first European semi-final in 14 years as “unbelievable”.

He told BT Sport: “It means so much to everyone here. We’ve worked hard. We’ve had our ups and downs but it’s a special night tonight.e

“It is massive. I had two disallowed, one off the crossbar but I just had to stay focused and keep pushing. As the fans here say, no surrender and that’s what it was tonight.

“To be honest I thought it was going to be one of those nights for me. But as long as I kept working hard and we win the game that’s all that matters. Thankfully I managed to get a goal which was good.

“When it went into extra-time we couldn’t give up. Even with them being down to 10 and then nine men, it actually got harder. We just had to keep grinding it out, grinding it out and get to the finish.”

READ MORE: Rangers ready to lure Leeds talent to Ibrox in move to jettison January suitors from transfer battle