Smith full of praise for Rangers after glory night

Darcheville slotted home after Steve Davis slipped him through before Steven Whittaker's solo effort in injury time rounded off a fantastic night for the Scottish team.

"I thought we played very well tonight. The pitch was excellent and that was reflected in the fact we were passing the ball better," said Smith.

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"There's a terrific determination among the squad and there was a great deal of skill on show tonight. I was really pleased in the manner of how we played."

Rangers survived an early scare when Liedson headed against the post and Vucevic and Veloso also went close before half-time.

While Sporting dominated much of the possession during the second half, they failed to test goalkeeper Alan McGregor and Darcheville capped a powerful performance to turn the tie into Rangers' favour. In injury time, Whittaker jinked his way through the heart of the Sporting defence and kept his cool to seal the victory.

"We got a break when they hit the post in the first half, but once we got in front we looked good.

"There are one or two celebrations in the dressing room and deservedly so."

Rangers will now face Fiorentina in the semi-final after the Italian side dumped PSV out of the cup with a 2-0 win in Holland last night.

With both Barry Ferguson and Kevin Thomson picking up bookings to rule them out of the first leg, Walter Smith will now have to shuffle his midfield pack for the visit of Fiorentina.

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