Rangers 1-1 Aris Limassol: Gers qualification for Europa League knockouts in the balance after Ross McCausland strike rescues draw

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It had been 55 days since Aris had beaten Rangers in Cyprus but this time they faced a rejuvenated Gers who were unbeaten under Philippe Clement. Such has been their form, the hosts needed a win on Thursday to secure their place in Group C’s top two and the knockout rounds.But they went behind in the 28th minute as Shavy Babicka easily rounded Jack Butland to see Aris ahead. It led Clement to make a rare first-half change with McCausland replacing Todd Cantwell in the 36th minute.

he 20-year-old – who recently signed a new deal with Rangers – justified his introduction when he equalised for the hosts four minutes after the break

It was McCausland’s first senior goal too, and he told TNT Sports: “I didn’t think I’d get on as soon as I did but I’m chuffed to be able to come on so early and have an impact on the game. “I was thinking about it on the bus today that if I got on, I’d love to score. Over the past week, we’ve been talking about how the next milestone to achieve is a goal for Rangers so I’m glad I’ve been able to get that [on Thursday].

“A couple of years ago, I would not have thought I’d be in this situation I’m in today so I’m proud as punch with myself and I’m delighted to be getting all these opportunities.”

But neither side were able to add another, and qualification for the knockout rounds will go down to the final gameweek on December 14. Rangers, who remain second in Group C by a point, must ultimately win against group leaders Real Betis in Spain to ensure they finish in the top two.

However, the result does ensure they have at least a place in the Europa Conference League confirmed for 2024. Aris, meanwhile, have been knocked out of Europe this season.

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