Hemandi demands same again for Gers

April 9, 2008

Rangers midfielder Brahim Hemdani is looking for a repeat of the club's last Portuguese sojourn when they face Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Cup.

Walter Smith's men will reach the semi-finals if they secure at least a score draw following last week's goalless first leg.

Rangers got exactly that in November 2005 when Alex McLeish's side earnt the point they needed against Porto to keep their hopes of Champions League progress alive.

Rangers, struggling domestically at the time, went behind just before the hour mark in the Dragao Stadium but a teenage Ross McCormack, now at Motherwell, came off the bench to smash home an equaliser with seven minutes left.

And Hemdani would settle for a similar 90 minutes in the Jose Alvalade Stadium tomorrow night.

The Algerian international said: 'I remember this game very well because it was very important for us to get a good result. We had lost to Celtic twice prior to the game in the League Cup and SPL and were 15 points behind them so we had to give the fans a positive result.

'We knew that this would not be easy as they had a lot of quality players such as Diego, who we played against in Bremen, and Quaresma. On the night they played a lot of attractive football and we had our backs against the wall for long periods although we defended well.

'They then scored after an hour through Lopez but could not get another which gave us hope. With 10 minutes left we kept pushing forward and Ross managed to find the net.

'In many ways we can perhaps expect the same kind of game against Sporting and the same result would be perfect for us.'

Rangers beat Panathinaikos in the last 32 on away goals following a goalless first leg in Glasgow and Hemdani takes encouragement from their ability to counter attack.

The 30-year-old told Rangers News: 'What we need to remember is that we have had some very good results in Europe this season which will give us confidence.

'I expect Lisbon to attack because they are at home but this could give us space to counter attack which may suit our players.

'We have to stay positive as we are only at half time.'