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Ally McCoist has criticised the penalty decision which left Rangers fearing a Champions League exit against Union Saint-Gilloise.

With the Ibrox side trailing 1-0 in the first leg of their third qualifying round match in Belgium on Tuesday night, a VAR intervention resulted in further woe for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men.

After looking at the pitchside monitor, referee Irfan Peljto penalised defender Connor Goldson for a shot that was deflected onto his arm from close range.

Dante Vanzeir scored the penalty to condemn Rangers to a 2-0 loss and leaving the Scottish side with an uphill task at Ibrox next Tuesday night.

The penalty award “baffled” McCoist, although the former Rangers manager and striker acknowledged the visitors’ poor performance.

He told talkSPORT: “I can’t argue at all with the result, just about second to everything and deserved what they got.

“It was really concerning, a very poor performance but the penalty decision is absolutely shocking.

“It was an absolutely terrible decision – as bad as Rangers’ performance.

“I have to balance it and say Rangers were really poor and didn’t deserve to take anything out of the game.

“But that’s what really annoys me about VAR. Are these people for real?

“You’re looking at it and who in their right mind thinks that’s a penalty?

“It’s important that you have people who are making these decisions that have played the game to a certain level and understand it.”

He continued: “It baffled me, absolutely baffled me. I don’t want to take anything away from the result and performance, which was poor and I don’t have a problem with the actual result.

“But that decision? Come on. You’re sitting looking at it on a monitor.

“If he’d seen it in normal time and given it, I’d have given him a bit more space and leeway.

“But when you go over to a monitor and look at it, and still give it…?”