Ibrox toasts Rangers' new hero Malik Tillman: 'It's just an amazing feeling'

Malik Tillman's goal on a close-range header completed Rangers' comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the first leg and give the Scottish club a 3-0 win over Belgium's Union Saint-Gilloise for a 3-2 aggregate victory in the UEFA Champions League's third preliminary round of qualifying.

Rangers will face Dutch club PSV, a 4-3 aggregate winner over France's Monaco, in the playoff round. Six winners will advance from the playoff round to the group stage, where Rangers has not played since 2010.

Tillman's goal in the 79th minute followed goals from James Tavernier (from the penalty spot in the 45th minute) and Antonio Colak to erase Union Saint-Gilloise's lead from the first leg. He rose at the far post to beat keeper Anthony Moris to a cross from Borna Barisic.

The goal was the 20-year-old Tillman's first since arriving in Glasgow on loan from Bayern Munich last month, but he impressed with his play for Rangers. He started Tuesday's match on the right side but later moved into a central position.

Tillman's goal drew chants of "Sign him!" from Rangers fans at Ibrox. Rangers' loan agreement with Bayern includes an exclusive option to buy him

"I think after the game last week we needed Ibrox and the fans," Tillman told the Rangers Web site after the match. "I think we did pretty well – thanks to the fans for pushing us every minute, that was for them. It was crazy. I think when you have these kind of fans, it’s just an amazing feeling to play in front of them. They push you forward every single second. It was just amazing."

Tillman's form certainly puts him in position to seriously contend for a spot on the U.S. World Cup team.

He filed a switch of association after playing for German age-group teams and played two matches for the USA as a sub in the June window. He was frustrated with his play in the 5-0 win over Grenada, which U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter blamed on an injury he picked up in the game and which kept Tillman out the second Concacaf Nations League match at El Salvador.

Five midfielders are considered locks for the U.S. World Cup team -- Tyler Adams and Kellyn Acosta in the No. 6 role and Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah and Luca de la Torre in more advanced positions -- while players like Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna can also play in midfield.

The players Tillman is competing with for one or two spots include Gianluca Busio, Djordje Mihailovic and Cristian Roldan. If Rangers can get past PSV, Tillman will be able to do what the other three can't, and that's showcase his skills on this fall's biggest club stage in Europe, the Champions League group stage.

James Sands also started again for Rangers on its backline. Both Tillman and Sands have started Rangers' last three games -- both legs of the Champions League series and the match of the Scottish Premiership. Sands, who arrived in January on loan from NYCFC, is another player who can help his World Cup chances very much if Rangers reaches the group stage of the Champions League and continues to start.
Aug. 9 in Glasgow
Rangers 3 Union Saint-Gilloise 0. Goals: Tavernier pen. 45, Colak 58, Tillman 78.
Rangers -- McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Sands (Davies, 79), Barisic, Lundstram, Lawrence (Kamara, 87), Arfield (Matondo, 64), Kent, Tillman, Colak (Morelos, 80)
Union Saint-Gilloise -- Moris, Nieuwkoop (Francois, 77), Amani, Adringa, Vanzier, Burgess, Teuma, Lynen, Sykes (Eckert, 84), Van Der Heyden, Lapoussin.
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece)
Att.: 48,454.

Photo: PA Wire via ZUMA Press/ISI Photos

4 comments about "Ibrox toasts Rangers' new hero Malik Tillman: 'It's just an amazing feeling'".
  1. R2 Dad, August 9, 2022 at 9:46 p.m.

    There were so many poor challenges that went unaddressed in that match, I wouldn't be surprised if 1/3 of each team is out injured for their next league game. Well done, MT, I hope you can continue to create chances and get more European experience.

  2. Santiago 1314, August 9, 2022 at 11:27 p.m.

    He is Not Competing with Midfielders... He is competing with CP and Weah... Clearly putting Morris and Arriola, OUT of the PIcture... As I have Stated in previous Posts, he is NOT Mentally a Box-to-Box Player; He has the Physical Qualities of McKenNIE, but Not the Combative Desire to Chase Back and Win Balls on the Top of your 18 yard Box... And that's OK, we have Plenty of those Guys(Aaronson, Musah, Luca, Adams, Acosta, Busio.???)... We need that Arrogance and Flair and Petulance to Manifest itself in front of the Opponents Goal... AND TO SCORE GOALS.!!!

  3. Wayne Norris, August 10, 2022 at 6:46 a.m.

    Santi, like your comment but Busio winning balls in MF?

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, August 10, 2022 at 11:15 a.m.

    Sorry Wayne... I wasn't clear enough with my (???) ... That was my way of saying he is NOT very Good at Winning Balls in MF... Clearly his Weakest Link...
    But Modric is Not a "Ball Winner" at Real Madrid... You just have to have 2 guys to do the Dirty work for you, like Casemiro and Kroos...
    Modric is a More Direct Threat in the Final 3rd and that is something Busio needs to "UP" in his Game..
    He was more than willing to Chase Back and Attempt to get "Stuck In" with Venezia... He's just Not very Impactful about it... He took a Pounding Last Year, and Managed to Survive...
    For a Player of his Physcial and Mental Characteristics... He will need to "Win Balls" like Modric does... Quickness and Anticipation.... And he Needs to have more than ONE Tempo, when he Plays.. 
    He's a "Different Drummer"; like a Metronome at One Speed, Orchestrating  a Beautiful "Music of the Ainur"(Tolkein) as the Rest of the band is Crashing the Cymbals... Discord ensues... 
    Needs to be able to play "His Game" and fit it into a Larger Concept... Very Tough to Pull off on a Turbo USA Team.!?!?!?  If we can get to Tiki-Turbo... He might see some Minutes for USA.(or if we are Dominiating an Opponent and want to Maintian LATERAL POSSESION)

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