Maurice Edu’s last minute equaliser for Rangers in their Europa League round of 16 encounter with Sporting Lisbon, has has earned Scottish clubs an extra spot in next year’s Champions League.
Edu’s stoppage-time leveller clinched a 2-2 draw and ensured the Scottish champions reached the round of 16 in the Europa League on away goals.
It also lifted Scotland above Switzerland into 15th place in the UEFA rankings, which ranks countries on their clubs’ performance over a five-year period.
Swiss clubs Young Boys and FC Basel were both eliminated Thursday.
The 15th-ranked country enters its league champions and runners-up in Champions League qualifying. The 16th-ranked nation only enters its champions.
For the 2011/12 campaign, Scotland will lose one of its qualification spots in the Champions League because of a drop in coefficient. But, because of the results on Thursday night, that will only be temporary, with the nation moving back into Europe’s top 15 countries for the 2012-13 season.