Rangers could not bounce back after their responding loss to archrivals Celtic in the Old Firm derby, losing their UEFA Europa League match against Braga. Super Eagles defender Loon Balogun could easily be fingered for the loss as his costly error gave Braga a chance which they took with both hands.
Costly Leon Balogun error condemns Rangers to Europa league loss
A poor error by Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun allowed Braga to score the only goal in the game against Rangers.
Early in the game, Braga threatened to take the lead when Ricardo Horta hit a shot which cannoned off the post. The early pressure paid off when Andre Horta struck from outside the box to put Braga in the lead just a minute later.
The home side soon saw their celebrations cut short by VAR, which disallowed the goal.
The Braga pressure paid off towards the end of the first half when Balogun poorly controlled a pass from Yan Couto before Abel Ruiz took advantage of his mistake to steal the ball and put it past the Rangers keeper.
Calvin Bassey struggled in the first half but seemed to gain his focus in the second. Braga wingback Yan Couto faced off with the Super Eagles defender on multiple occasions, but young Bassey managed to hold his own.
Needing a change, Van Bronckhorst turned to his bench to make a triple substitution. Leon Balogun, Fashion Sakala, and Ryan Jack came off for left-back Borna Barisic, Kemar Roofe and Joe Aribo, with the latter two hoping to add some attacking flair.
Despite all the changes Rangers could not find the equaliser and Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side now have it all to do in the return leg at Ibrox on April 14.