Bougherra earns Gers a point

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Madjid Bougherra grabbed the headlines for all the right reasons when he marked his Champions League debut with a goal as Rangers claimed a point from a 1-1 draw in their Group G opener in Stuttgart.

The defender made amends for his red card at the weekend with a lovely strike late on to secure a draw for the Scottish champions at the Mercedes Benz Arena.

It had looked like being a difficult night for Rangers when Pavel Pogrebniak - who missed the 2008 UEFA Cup final against Rangers through suspension - opened the scoring after the Germans had dominated early on.

And it was the visitors who would have been the happier of the two sides as they returned to Glasgow with a precious point from their first match.

With less than a minute on the clock Jeronimo Baretto Cacau ran onto a cross from the right and drew a decent save from goalkeeper Allan McGregor, before Thomas Hitzlsperger hooked the rebound over the crossbar.

The home side were threatening again in the opening stages when Cacau released Pogrebniak into the box and he teed up the shot for Hleb but he was denied from close range by McGregor at the near post.

However, the Rangers goalkeeper was picking the ball out of the back of the net after 18 minutes when Cacau's cut-back found Pogrebniak, who dispatched a powerful right foot shot past McGregor.

Stuttgart almost found the back of the net again when Cacau rifled into the side netting and provided another reminder of the threat posed by the home side.

With 20 minutes to go, Sasa Papac picked up the first booking of the match after catching Christian Trasch on the face with his boot but the Stuttgart full-back was quickly able to return to the action after receiving treatment.

With a single goal still separating the two sides, Rangers could have hauled themselves level when Lee McCulloch nodded on a corner to Steven Naismith but his close-range header fell wide of target. The honours went to Bougherra instead when he snatched the leveller after 77 minutes. The defender worked a one-two with Jerome Rothen before driving past the out-stretched hands of Jens Lehmann.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Europa League
European News
Jens Lehmann
UEFA Champions League
Madjid Bougherra

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