Reyna, Sanneh sit while their teams are shocked in Champions League.(Wednesday, October 27, 1999) -- In today's European Champions League play, both Glasgow Rangers and Hertha Berlin suffered unexpected home losses; Rangers to Spain's Valencia 2-1 and Hertha to Turkish side Galatasaray, 4-1.
This leaves both teams in exactly the same position. In order to advance to the next phase, each must gain a draw next week on the road against a difficult opponent. Rangers play at Bayern Munich. Hertha in England against Chelsea.
Meanwhile, in other group action today, Bayer Leverkusen helped itself by earning a hard fought draw with Group leader Lazio in Rome. American midfielder Frankie Hejduk entered the match in the 67th minute replacing defender Jorg Reeb. The draw means Leverkusen falls into third place in the group, behind Lazio which has clinched the group title and Dynamo Kiev. Leverkusen is now a point behind Dynamo. If it can defeat Maribor Teatanic of Slovenia next week at home while Dynamo falls to Lazio in Rome, the German side will advance.
If Rangers could have beaten Valencia in today's home match, it would have propelled the Glasgow team into the next round of the Champions League. The loss showed Rangers really miss injured American midfielder Claudio Reyna. Poor midfield play was directly responsible for two first-half Valencia goals.
Tallies from Giazka Mendieta and Claudio Lopez put the Spaniards in control. Rangers tightened the midfield in the second half and got one of the goals back, but Rangers could not draw even. Clearly Rangers could have used Reyna's ball control abilities, as they could not hold the ball in the first half and allowed Valencia too many chances.
With the victory, Valencia sits atop of Group F and qualified for the round of 16. Rangers remain in second place, two points ahead of Bayern Munich, but caught a major break on yesterday when Bayern lost a shocker to PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the Netherlands.
Rangers travel to Bayern next week and must get a point from the match to advance. It is doubtful that the injured Reyna will be ready.
American Tony Sanneh did not appear in Hertha's 4-1 unexpected drubbing at the hands of Galatasaray. It appears now Hertha's best hope of advancing lies in Chelsea not taking next week's final group match very seriously, and perhaps fielding a team with a number of reserves.