UEL

Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey help Rangers into the quarterfinal

The three Nigerians will continue their adventure in the Europa League this season despite the Gers' defeat in Serbia.

Super Eagles stars Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo

Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey all featured as Rangers reached the quarterfinal of a European competition for the first time since 2008 despite losing 2-1 to Red Star on Thursday night.

Rangers went into the clash at the Rajko Mitic Stadium with a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg, but they were wary of an upset.

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst fielded is Nigerian trio in his starting lineup, with each player delivering an impressive shift.

Aribo was in action for just 68 minutes, making 38 touches and completing 11 of his 19 attempted passes.

Meanwhile, both Bassey and Balogun played the entire duration of the match.

Balogun had a solid night, making seven clearances and two tackles, while he also won eight of his ten duels.

Bassey also played his part as unorthodox left-back, completing 83% of his passes.

However, it was not all smooth sailing for the Nigerians and their teammates as they got off to a bad start.

Red Star knew they had to score early to stand a chance of turning the tie around.

And the home side did that as Mirko Ivanic fired home from close range in the 10th minute.

The goal gave them belief, and they could have doubled their lead twice in the first half but were denied by Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Red Star resumed the second half with the same purpose, but against the run of play, it was Rangers that drew level through Ryan Kent's equaliser.

The equaliser killed off any hope the home side had left. However, they still picked up the win after they were awarded a penalty in the second minute of added time.

El Fardou Ben stepped up to convert the kick, but it turned out to be a consolation.

Rangers will now wait for tomorrow's draw to find out their opponents in the last eight.

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