Twenty-year old Bayern Munich and USMNT forward Malik Tillman is off to a roaring start on loan with Scottish Premiership side Rangers FC. And now, he’s just helped power his team through to the UEFA Champions League group stages, in dramatic fashion.
Perennial title contenders in Scotland’s top flight, Rangers have been mired in this year in a play-off to enter to the Champions League proper. Having drawn the first leg against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, the second leg was also knotted up heading towards the hour mark.
That’s when Tillman pounced. Talented Argentine keeper Walter Benítez missed seeing his open right-back under pressure and opted to distribute short. Tillman was on the center-back in a flash, nicked it off him, and had the composure to square it across for striker Antonio Čolak instead of trying to go for goal himself:
Rangers would go on to triumph 1-0, 3-2 on aggregate — Tillman’s press-induced smash-and-grab the decisive goal in the decisive game.
The Champions League draw will be held tomorrow, and thanks in part to Tillman’s head’s up play, Rangers will be a part of it.