Rangers’ Europa League opponents Royal Antwerp pulled off a dramatic win in the Belgian Pro League on Sunday as their Round of 32 tie looms.
The Great Old struggled for consistency over the first half of the season under Ivan Leko.
However, the Croatian left to take up the manager’s position at Chinese Super League club Shanghai Port FC and his replacement, Franky Vercauteren, has overseen a considerable improvement in results.
Antwerp have won six of their last seven matches in all competitions, with their latest victory coming at K Beerschot VA on Sunday afternoon following a dramatic end to the contest.
The game looked to be heading towards a goalless draw until Didier Lamkel Zé put the visitors ahead in the 84th minute.
Zé made headlines earlier in the season after turning up at Antwerp’s training ground wearing the shirt of fierce rivals Anderlecht in an attempt to force through a move away from the club but he later apologised for his actions [ESPN] and since returning to the side has four goals in five appearances.
Antwerp’s lead was then doubled three minutes later by former Belgium youth international Pieter Gerkens.
That strike didn’t knock the hope out of Beerschot, who pulled one back almost immediately through Frederic Frans. Yet, the hosts weren’t able to produce a second in injury time and the game finished 2-1 as the visitors moved into second spot in the Pro League table.
It’s a warning to Rangers on the day that they slipped up at Hamilton that Antwerp are a dangerous opponent and with the first leg of the Round of 32 tie less than two weeks away, Vercauteren’s side are bang in form.
They do have some domestic duties to attend to ahead of the Gers’ visit, though, and they will face a side recently conquered by Gerrard’s team next weekend.