Balogun sees red as Olayinka leads Slavia Prague past Rangers

The Nigerian was given marching orders as the Gers crashed out of the Europa League following Thursday’s loss to the Rouge et Blancs.

Leon Balogun received the red card as Rangers fell 2-0 at home to Slavia Prague in Thursday’s Europa League meeting.

Following a second warning at Ibrox Stadium, the Nigerian international received marching orders from referee Orel Grinfeld.

Balogun had already been warned in the 18th minute, however, he got the second of the meeting after a horror tackle on Lukas Masopust.

His teammate Kemar Roofe – who replaced Scott Arfield in the 55th minute – had been cleared 12 minutes earlier following a serious offense against Ondrej Kolar.

The Jamaican forward stamped his spike on the face of the visitors’ goalkeeper during a goal-related movement.

It is the first time that the Scottish Premiership giants have sent off two players (Keemar Roofe and Leon Balogun) for the first time in a single match in a major European competition.

After playing a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the round of 16 at Sinobo Stadium, Steven Gerrard’s men needed only a 0-0 win or draw at least to qualify for the quarter-final, but they were unable to stop the formation of the Czech Premier League with the strong will.

14 minutes into the game, Nigeria’s Peter Olayinka gave the Red & Whites a well-deserved lead – edging goalkeeper Allan McGregor a charming cross from Jan Boril.

The hosts tried everything they could to level matters, but having two of their players lead the way slowed their fighting spirit.

A minute after Balogun’s sacking, Nicolae Stanciu scored the second important goal to give Jindrich Trpisovsky’s side a vital away victory – thus, in a 3-1 total.

Nigerian Joe Aribo was in action from start to finish for Rangers, although his presence could not save his team from elimination. While South African midfielder Bongani Zungu was brought in for Alfredo Morelos with eight minutes full time.

For Slavia Prague, Olayinka was replaced by Masopust in the 58th minute, while Ivorian defender Simon Deli and Senegal striker Abdallah Sima were on the parade from start to finish.

After falling from the European Club Championship, Rangers will turn their attention to the Scottish Premier League where they were declared champions of the 2020-21 campaign.

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