Ever supportive Rangers fans are still celebrating Super Eagles star, Joe Aribo’s outstanding showing in his club 3-2 victory over Braga in the Europa League knockout contest.
Never give up! Thank you to the supporters, kept Ibrox rocking 💙 pic.twitter.com/Tz55yG1WGE
— Joe Aribo (@J_Aribo19) February 21, 2020
Ianis Hagi’s brace and stunning solo goal from Aribo ensured the Gers didn’t rue early goals by Fransergio and Abel Ruiz proved in vain.
Of course, Braga’s two goals could still help them qualify. A 1-0 home win next week would see Rangers dumped out of the competition but nonetheless this was a good victory.
The game provided the Light Blues with a welcome distraction from their domestic campaign. Since returning from the winter break, Gerrard has seen his team slip 10 points behind Celtic in the race for the title.
Joe Aribo’s introduction from the bench proved pivotal for Rangers and his equalising goal was mesmerising. The ex-Charlton man was forced on at left-back but that didn’t stop him unleashing his creative spark.
Graig Smith reacted in his twitter handle: ‘Still can not get over that last night. Hagi & Aribo deserve MASSIVE plaudits for the way they stepped up a gear & got the crowd going & everyone else followed.’
Meanwhile, Aribo has described his equaliser against Braga as the ‘most important goal of his career till date’.
“It’s hard to put it into words. It’s the most important goal of my career to date,” Aribo told Glasgow Times.
“The boys are just buzzing with the result. We are all absolutely ecstatic. I’ve never experienced anything like the atmosphere tonight. It was like a 12th man. It was a lovely feeling to have the backing of the fans.
“The gaffer told me to be positive when I came off the bench and to take the ball to them and just distract them, so they are not having it their own way.
“I’ve never scored a goal like that before. What was in my mind? I just thought I was going to keep going. I got past the first man and there was no turning back. I just had to keep going and I found myself in front of goal- luckily I found the back of the net.
“I actually started the move. I found the first man with my cross and the ball came back to me. I just said let me do what I’m going to do.
“The feeling when the ball hit the net was relief because I was just buzzing that it had gone in and we were level.
“We know how good Braga are and that they have a lot of players who could hurt us. If we were not at it we would have suffered. That’s what happened in the early part of the game but we need to be on top form over there for the second leg.”
Rangers will travel to Portugal for the return fixture against Braga on Wednesday, after Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash against St. Johnstone.