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Balogun scores, Aribo, Bassey impress in Rangers win over Ohi’s Red Star; Dessers stars in Feyenoord’s seven-goal thriller

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Four players of Nigerian descent took to the pitch from kickoff at the Ibrox on Thursday, with three internationals on the winning side

Leon Balogun, Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey, and Ohi Omoijuanfo all featured as Rangers carved out an excellent 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade at the Ibrox Stadium in the first leg of their Europa League knockout round tie.

A thrilling first half saw Rangers score twice within the first quarter of an hour, the first a James Tavernier penalty before Aleksandar Katai missed a spot-kick for the Serbian champions in the 24th minute.

With the visitors looking to find a way back into the game after the break, Balogun snuffed life out of their slim come-back hopes when he grabbed Rangers’ third of the night. The Super Eagles defender rose to head home a well-delivered James Tavernier corner in the 51st minute.

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It was the 33-year-old’s second goal in the competition, having bagged his maiden goal against Bröndby IF back in October. 

While Balogun and Bassey lasted the duration of the match, Aribo, who received a booking for his troubles, left the field in the 75th minute. Red Star boss Dejan Stankovic had earlier replaced Omoijuanfo doe the visitors.

Elsewhere, Dessers continued his brilliant form in the UEFA Europa Conference League, scoring one and claiming an assist as Feyenoord secured a dominant 5-2 win away at Partizan Beograd.

Before Thursday’s first leg clash at the Stadion Partizana, Dessers had smashed four goals in only six appearances in the competition. And his confidence was on a high after returning from injury at the weekend to net his side’s equaliser against Groningen.

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And the 27-year-old brought the game back to 2-2 minutes into the second period after Partizan headed into the break with a 2-1 lead. It was all Feyenoord from then on, the visitors netting twice in six minutes to make it 4-2.

And there was still time for Dessers to supply the final pass for Jens Toornstra to net the Dutch side’s fifth of the evening.

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