Napoli overcomes missed penalties to beat Rangers 3-0

September 14, 2022 GMT
Napoli's Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from a penalty shot during the Champions League group A soccer match between Rangers and Napoli at the Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Napoli's Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from a penalty shot during the Champions League group A soccer match between Rangers and Napoli at the Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Napoli's Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from a penalty shot during the Champions League group A soccer match between Rangers and Napoli at the Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
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Napoli's Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from a penalty shot during the Champions League group A soccer match between Rangers and Napoli at the Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
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Napoli's Matteo Politano celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal from a penalty shot during the Champions League group A soccer match between Rangers and Napoli at the Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — After missing two penalty kicks, Napoli finally scored on its third try en route to a 3-0 win at Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Forty-year-old Allan McGregor saved two penalty kicks from Piotr Zieliński, but the Rangers goalkeeper could not keep out the third scored by Matteo Politano in the 68th minute.

Defeat for 10-man Rangers was sealed with late goals by Napoli substitutes Giacomo Raspadori in the 85th and Tanguy Ndombele in stoppage time.

Napoli has recorded back-to-back three-goal wins to lead Group A with six points. Rangers is in last place after losing heavily again. Liverpool beat Ajax 2-1 in the group on Tuesday.

A game in Glasgow postponed for 24 hours — because of the demands on police resources after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland — proved worth waiting for in a frenetic 13-minute spell in the second half.

The spot-kick saga started in the 55th when Rangers defender James Sands, the United States international on loan from New York City FC, got a second yellow card and was sent off for bringing down Giovanni Simeone as he prepared to shoot.

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Zieliński’s right-footed penalty low to McGregor’s right was parried toward Politano who slotted the ball between McGregor’s legs.

A video review showed Politano entered the penalty box before the kick was taken, so referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz called Zieliński’s back from the center circle to retake the penalty.

Zieliński again shot to McGregor’s right and again the ball was pushed away, this time to safety.

The third spot-kick followed Borna Barišić blocking Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s shot with his arm, and this time Politano stepped up to score. His left-footed shot was touched by McGregor diving low to his left on its way into the net.

A final indignity for Rangers was the referee awarding a penalty deep into stoppage time for an apparent handball. That decision was overturned on video review.

Rangers has historically been loyally supportive of the British monarchy and its fans paid tribute before the match.

One end of the stadium displayed a giant mosaic of a Union Jack flag imposed with a silhouette of the queen’s head when the teams came on the field. A minute’s silence was followed by singing the British national anthem.

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