Kenny Miller wins it for Rangers in Europa League qualifier

29 June 2017

Rangers had Kenny Miller to thank for victory in their first European fixture in six years.

Pedro Caixinha's side laboured to a 1-0 win over Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.

Miller hit the only goal of the game at Ibrox, finishing off a slick move following a quickly-taken free-kick.

Fellow Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone could not follow suit and slipped to a 2-1 home defeat in their first leg clash against Lithuanian outfit FK Trakai.

The visitors scored early through Maksim Maksimov and quickly restored their lead after Joe Shaughnessy headed home in the 32nd minute.

A magnificent 25-yard strike from Vaidotas Silenas - who was later sent off - earned them a win to take back home for the second leg.

League of Ireland runners-up Cork started their campaign strongly as they won 2-0 against 10-man Levadia Tallinn in Estonia, with Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie grabbing the goals.

Gary Shaw scored the only goal as Shamrock won 1-0 away at Icelandic side Stjarnan but Derry could not make it a trio of wins as they crashed to a 6-1 loss at FC Midtjylland of Denmark.

Northern Ireland also have three representatives in the first-round qualifiers, with Crusaders winning 3-1 at home to Liepaja of Latvia as Philip Lowry, Michael Carvill and Jordan Owens struck.

Elsewhere, Coleraine were hammered 7-0 away to Norwegian side Haugesund, with Ballymena United also losing to Scandinavian opposition with a 3-0 defeat at Odd.

Welsh Premier League side Connah's Quay recorded an impressive 1-0 win over HJK Helsinki as Nathan Woolfe scored the only goal in Nantporth.

Meanwhile Bangor and Bala Town both lost narrowly, the former beaten 1-0 at Lyngby as Bron Blume scored.

Chris Venables scored for Bala to keep their hopes of progression alive despite a 2-1 home defeat to Liechtenstein Cup winners Vaduz.

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