STEVEN Gerrard will have feared the worst after Rangers were awarded a mid-September second round qualifier in Gibraltar.

The Scottish side will be facing Lincoln Red Imps, who famously beat city rivals Celtic at the Victoria Stadium in a similar tie back in 2016.

Although Celtic then went on to win 3-0 in Glasgow, Rangers will be forced to get a result in Gibraltar, with qualifiers now being one-legged affairs that go down to penalties if necessary.

Lincoln are one of two Gibraltar football teams that progressed to the second qualifying round of the Europa League to be played on September 17.

Lincoln Red Imps got a 3:0 walkover over COVID-19-hit side Prishtina and then beat Union Titus of Luxembourg 2-0 at the Victoria Stadium.

Europa FC lost out to Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League qualifier but they now get a second bite of the cherry in the Europa League qualifiers against Djurgården of Sweden.

Ghana’s Mustapha Yahaya, scorer of the Red Imps’ magnificent second against Union Titues, told the Olive Press: “It was my first goal for Lincoln and the first I scored in European qualification.

“I can’t explain the joy as it gave us security and assurance in that game.

“With European competition, we are taking it game by game but we want to achieve more, go further and change the narrative of Gibraltar football.”

Yahaya 2
DRIBBLER: Yahaya is known for his calm presence on the field and quick feet a la Steven Gerrard

Ambition

After being mentored by his footballing brother, Yahaya played in the Netherlands league.

He was then snapped up by Gibraltar side Europa FC before making the switch to arch-rivals Lincoln but he always longs to get to take his game to the next level.

“It’s a dream for every football player to play and test himself in bigger leagues and I am no exception,” added 26-year-old Yahaya. 

“For now we will concentrate on Rangers, which is a top club and we are playing at home so everything is possible.

“Above all, we are going to give them a match to remember.”

Gibraltar clubs entered European competition in 2013 when the British territory got full membership of UEFA, followed by FIFA entry three years later.

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