November 30, 2021

Nigeria defender Balogun scores maiden Europa League goal in Rangers win

Spread the love

The 33-year-old made a huge contribution in helping the Gers bag their first group win in the secondary European competition

Leon Balogun scored his first Uefa Europa League goal in Rangers’ 2-0 triumph over Brondby on Thursday night.

Balogun’s breakthrough in the European competition came just a few days after he broke his international duck for Nigeria in a 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic.

The Super Eagles centre-back started the game alongside his compatriot Joe Aribo and they ensured Steven Gerrard’s side get their Europa League campaign up and running with a crucial home victory.

In the 18th minute, Balogun rose highest to find the back of the net with James Tavernier’s cross and it was also his first goal of the season for the Gers.

Shortly after the opening goal, Kemar Roofe made it 2-0 with his 30th-minute goal that sealed maximum points for the hosts at Ibrox Stadium.

The two teams struggled to find the back of the net after the restart but Balogun was replaced by new Super Eagles invitee Calvin Bassey while Zambia striker Fashion Sakala replaced Alfredo Morelos in the 71st minute.

Balogun made his first appearance in the Europa League back in November 2016 when he was at Mainz 05 and the encounter ended in a 6-1 loss to Anderlecht.

The victory came as a relief for the Premiership giants after they lost their first two matches to Lyon and Sparta Prague.