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Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo were in action for Rangers in their humiliating 3-1 defeat to Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

Following their assignment with Nigeria where they played in their last two games in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, Balogun and Aribo returned to Glasgow immediately and made their way to the Gers’ starting XI on Sunday.

The outing turned out to be a forgettable encounter for new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst who succeeded Steven Gerrard at the helm during the week.

Rangers conceded three first-half goals with Martin Boyle scoring a hat-trick within 40 minutes.

Boyle opened the scoring for Hibernian in the ninth minute and he followed it up with another goal in the 21st minute before converting from the penalty spot in the 38th minute.

Two minutes after Boyle completed his hat-trick, Scott Arfield pulled a goal back for the Gers but it was not enough to inspire a comeback at Hampden Park.

Aribo saw 69 minutes of action before his replacement Balogun made way for his compatriot Calvin Bassey to enter in the 80th minute.

Zambia’s Fashion Sakala was another African star who played for Rangers and he was introduced in the 61st minute for Ryan Kent.

The defeat ended Rangers’ sojourn in the League Cup in this campaign, with their last success in the competition dating back to the 2010-11 season.

Hibernian, meanwhile, will face Celtic in the final showdown in December after the Bhoys defeated defending champions St Johnstone 1-0 on Saturday.

Following their disappointing loss in the League Cup, Aribo, Balogun and Bassey will turn their attention to Thursday’s Europa League fixture against Sparta Prague with Van Bronckhorst aiming for his first win as Rangers manager.

The Gers still lead the Premiership table with 30 points after 13 games and their next league game will be a trip to Livingston on November 28.


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