The Gers who last conquered Belgium

The last Rangers players to beat Belgium

With Scotland preparing for a huge tonight, we spend some time looking at the Rangers players who last beat Belgium.

Alex McLeish’s side face a tough challenge against Roberto Martinez’s World Cup semi-finalists on Friday night. The last meeting between the sides ended in a 2-0 defeat to the Belgians at Hampden back in 2013.

No Rangers players were selected that day, as the club fought their way up through the divisions.

But, the last time Scotland did beat Belgium, there were Gers stars involved. The Scots took a terrific 2-0 win against the Belgians back in 1987 in a European Championship qualifier.

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The Belgian side of back then wasn’t the proposition it now is, but it was a happier time for the Scots.

Here’s the three stars who were involved with Rangers that starred in that win:

ALLY MCCOIST

Ally McCoist was a predator of a goalscorer at any level (Dan Smith/Allsport/Getty Images)

There wasn’t a lot Rangers’ biggest goalscoring hero of all-time couldn’t do. Scoring on the international scene also wasn’t one of them.

McCoist played for Scotland a total of 61 times and bagged 19 times for his country. One of those came in the 2-0 win against the Belgians in this fixture.

A clever knock-on in the box fell to the predator of a striker. McCoist did fluff the shot to an extent, but it bounced fortunately and found the net.

McCoist managed to take part in competitions such as the World Cup of 1990 and the Euros of 1996 and 1992. The Gers legend captained his country once, and had a sterling international career.

This win was just another outing for McCoist, who helped push Scotland one step closer to Euro 1988. The campaign ended in a failure to qualify, but on this night at Hampden, McCoist put in a great display.

IAN DURRANT

Ian Durrant should’ve had more caps for Scotland (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Former hero Ian Durrant was just two years into his 13-year affiliation with Rangers when he performed for his country in this Euro qualifier.

The midfielder earned just 20 caps, and made his international debut against Hungary. How he didn’t win more is anyone’s guess.

Regardless of that, he played a starring role in the win over Belgium. Durrant put in a dominant performance in the engine room – keeping Belgium at bay.

The midfielder never scored for Scotland, but was always a reliable performer for his country. In games such as these, Durrant stepped up when needed and swept up any danger.

This was also just one year prior to THAT Neil Simpson challenge that broke Durrant’s leg. On this night, however, Durrant was solid in a decent all-round display from the Scots.

MO JOHNSTON

Mo Johnston’s international career ended unceremoniously (Russell Cheyne/Allsport/Getty Images)

At this stage in his career, Mo Johnston hadn’t actually signed for Rangers. Instead, he was plying his trade with Nantes after leaving Celtic. It would be another two years before he would enrage the green side of Glasgow and sign on with the Blue.

Johnston was another who could’ve had more when it came to international caps. The striker played a total of 38 times with Scotland. The forward netted 14 times for his country, but this game didn’t have one of them.

He was partnered with McCoist up front, and the pair hit it off well. Both were proven goalscorers, and the partnership was salivating on paper.

It was a forgetful display for Johnston against Belgium however, but he was still part of the side to take the points.

Where the Rangers and Celtic striker let himself down was during Alex Ferguson’s time in charge. As Scotland prepared for a play-off clash against Australia in 1985, Johnston troubled a member of the coaching staff and was sacked from the squad by Ferguson.

This had come after earlier warnings about the forward’s conduct.

Despite a couple of renaissances back in the squad in the future, Johnston ultimately hung up his international boots in 1992.


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