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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Rangers take big step towards potential Cork City meeting with Europa League win

The winner of Cork City’s first-round tie with FC Progres Niederkorn will likely face Steven Gerrard’s side.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

SHEYI OJO MARKED his competitive debut for Rangers with a goal as they claimed a resounding 4-0 first-leg win over St Joseph’s in the Europa League first qualifying round.

The winner of Cork City’s tie with FC Progres Niederkorn will now likely play the Scottish side in round two of Europa League qualification should Steven Gerrard’s side successfully finish the job next week.

John Cotter’s men welcome the Luxembourg outfit to Turners Cross on Thursday for the first leg of their tie.

Rangers took time to get going in Tuesday’s match at the Victoria Stadium, with all four of their goals against the Gibraltarian minnows coming in the second half.

Liverpool loanee Ojo curled the ball into the far corner six minutes after Ryan Jack opened the scoring, before Connor Goldson added a third from close range in the 68th minute.

A late fourth goal was provided by substitute Alfredo Morelos as Gerrard’s side took complete control of the tie ahead of the return match at Ibrox next Thursday.

Gerrard’s men eased to a 5-0 win in their friendly with Oxford United on Sunday but they struggled to get going in a first half devoid of any real action against St Joseph’s.

But it took just five minutes of the second half for Rangers to create their first chance of the match and Jack made the most of it by sending his side-footed volley past Francisco Mateo Vera.

Ojo’s debut strike followed soon after as he picked his spot from 15 yards to cap an impressive first competitive outing for his new club.

St Joseph’s struggled to maintain their tempo and Goldson killed off the game when tapping in from close range after Borna Barisic’s free-kick was scooped off the line by Mateo Vera.

Morelos rounded off the scoring with 13 minutes remaining, bundling over after seeing his initial effort – which may have crossed the line – pushed out by Mateo Vera and Goldson’s follow-up from inside the six-yard box rattle the crossbar.

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