Friday 20 July 2018

Steven Gerrard gets his Rangers managerial career off to a winning start

Rangers 2 Shkupi 0

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard got his Rangers reign off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Shkupi in the Europa League first-qualifying round at Ibrox.

Jamie Murphy put Gerrard's men in front in the 23rd minute but only after a scare when a shot from Blagoja Ljamchevski hit the crossbar.

James Tavernier converted a late penalty after Murphy had been fouled in the box to give his side a comfortable advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Macedonia.

Florian Kamberi scored a hat-trick as Hibernian made their own second leg a formality by cruising to a 6-1 win over 10-man NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands at Easter Road.

Neil Lennon's side took the lead inside three minutes when Kamberi shot home from the penalty spot and the striker and Oliver Shaw added further goals before the half-hour mark.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Einar Hansen was dismissed after 33 minutes and Hibs extended their lead through Stevie Mallan before Kamberi completed his hat-trick just after the break.

Petur Knudsen scored a consolation goal for the visitors but Mallan had the last say when he netted the sixth for his side six minutes from time.

Dundalk's quest to repeat their run to the group stages in 2016 got off to a good start with a 1-0 win over Levadia in Tallinn.

Winger Dylan Connolly fired home from close range in the 53rd minute to put Dundalk in pole position to progress to the next stage.

But Shamrock Rovers, who also reached the group stages in 2011, were left with it all to do after Daniel Sundgren's late goal gave AIK a 1-0 win ahead of the return leg in Sweden.

Coleraine were denied an impressive win over Serbian Super Liga side Spartak Subotica in their first leg in Novi Sad.

Darren McCauley had given the Northern Ireland Premiership side the lead with a first-half strike but Mile Savkovic made it 1-1 with an injury-time penalty.

Welsh side Connah's Quay Nomads have little hope of progression after falling 3-1 to Belarusian side Shakhytor in Rhyl.

Max Ngome, Elis Bakaj and Mikhail Shibun gave the visitors a commanding lead before Callum Morris reduced the deficit with an 89th-minute penalty.

Goals from Nino Galovic and Vladimir Khvashchinskiy gave Dinamo Minsk a 2-0 win at Derry City, who had Conor McDermott sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

And Cliftonville were beaten at home by Danish side Nordsjaelland with Andreas Olsen scoring the only goal in the 19th minute.

Press Association

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