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No C/league for Aribo, Balogun as Malmo edge out Rangers

No C/league for Aribo, Balogun as Malmo edge out Rangers

Super Eagles duo Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun will watch remaining Champions league campaign from a distance after Malmo edged out Rangers Tuesday.

Rangers paid the price for another second-half capitulation as 10-man Malmo dashed their Champions League qualification hopes and relegated the Scottish champions to the Europa League with a 2-1 (4-2 on aggregate) win at Ibrox.

Rangers, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, looked well on course to progress into the Champions League play-offs when Alfredo Morelos’ header levelled the tie on 19 minutes, before Bonke Innocent’s rather harsh dismissal for two bookable offences on the stroke of half-time left the hosts with a man advantage.

But, just as they did in last week’s first leg in Sweden, a sloppy start to the second half cost Rangers dear as two clinical finishes from striker Antonio Colak turned the game and the tie on its head in the space of four minutes.

Malmo’s remarkable turnaround left the near-capacity crowd, inside Ibrox for the first time since March 2020, and Steven Gerrard’s players, shell-shocked, and there was no way back as the Swedish champions sealed a play-off tie with Ludogorets.

read also Champions League 3rd round: Rangers to miss Leon Balogun

For Rangers, another season of Europa League football beckons, though they must overcome either FC Kairat Almaty or Alashkert FC in the play-offs to avoid dropping into the inaugural Europa Conference League.

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