is returning to the Champions League.
With the American winger a second-half substitute, Scottish club Rangers clinched a spot in
the group stage thanks to a 0-0 tie at Serbian powerhouse Red Star in Belgrade on Tuesday night. The draw gave Rangers a 1-0 victory on aggregate in the third qualifying round.
played two seasons in the Champions League with Dutch club PSV. In 2004-05, he was PSV's leading scorer with four goals in 11 games as it advanced to the semifinals. Beasley is the only American to
have played in the semifinal stage of the competition.
Red Star fans whistled at Beasley but did not hurl any racial insults at him. He claimed that he had been the subject of racial
insults by Red Star fans when he played in Belgrade with PSV in a Champions League qualifier in 2004. He was taunted by racist Montenegrin fans earlier this month when he scored in PSV's 1-0 win
over FK Zeta.
Qualification means an estimated $20 million in revenues and bonuses for Rangers, which has struggled financially and been unable to keep up with archrival Celtic in recent
years. Walter Smith
quit as Scotland national team coach to turn around Rangers. He employed a defensive 4-5-1 formation to stymie Red Star. Allan McGregor
was outstanding in goal for Rangers, which will learn its group stage opponents at the UEFA Champions League draw scheduled for Friday. Lee McCulloch
started on the left side in place of Beasley to give Rangers a more physical presence in Belgrade.
"It's certainly a satisfying result
because you don't know if the team can stand up to a situation like that," said Smith. "It was a great atmosphere but we weren't intimidated and we used it to our advantage. It's always good to see
the players respond well under pressure. It's good to be in the Champions league because there are so many teams vying in the qualifiers for only a few places in the group stage." GAME SUMMARY:
Aug. 28 in Belgrade Red Star (Serbia)
0 Rangers (Scot.) 0. Red Star --
Randjelovic, Andjelkovic, Milijas (Raskovic, 74), Koroman, Burzanovic (Barcos, 71), Tutoric, Lucas, Gueye, Basta,
Dordevic, Castillo. Rangers --
McGregor, Hutton, Weir, Papac, Whittaker (Beasley, 79), Hemdani, Thomson, Cuellar, McCulloch, Ferguson, Darcheville
(Cousin, 70). Referee:
Cardoso Cortez Batista (Portugal). Att.: