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Braga equaliser most important goal of my career – Rangers’ Aribo

The Super Eagles midfielder inspired his Scottish club to overturn from a two-goal deficit and win a five-goal thriller on Thursday

Rangers star Joe Aribo has described his equaliser against Braga in the Uefa Europa League as the ‘most important goal of his career till date’.

With the hosts trailing 2-0 at Ibrox Stadium, the 23-year-old came off the bench in the 54th minute and got the leveller 20 minutes after his introduction before Ianis Hagi grabbed his second goal of the night to give them a 3-2 win.

Aribo moved to Scotland last summer, and he is enjoying a fine debut campaign at Rangers with eight goals in 37 matches across all competitions so far.

Thursday’s victory gives Rangers an advantage to advance to the round of the 16 of the competition and the Nigeria international, excited by his impact, revealed how the move to his goal started.

“It’s hard to put it into words. It’s the most important goal of my career to date,” Aribo told Glasgow Times.

“The boys are just buzzing with the result. We are all absolutely ecstatic. I’ve never experienced anything like the atmosphere tonight. It was like a 12th man. It was a lovely feeling to have the backing of the fans.

“The gaffer told me to be positive when I came off the bench and to take the ball to them and just distract them, so they are not having it their own way.

“I’ve never scored a goal like that before. What was in my mind? I just thought I was going to keep going. I got past the first man and there was no turning back. I just had to keep going and I found myself in front of goal- luckily I found the back of the net.

“I actually started the move. I found the first man with my cross and the ball came back to me. I just said let me do what I’m going to do.

“The feeling when the ball hit the net was relief because I was just buzzing that it had gone in and we were level.

“We know how good Braga are and that they have a lot of players who could hurt us. If we were not at it we would have suffered. That’s what happened in the early part of the game but we need to be on top form over there for the second leg.”

Rangers will travel to Portugal for the return fixture against Braga on Wednesday, after Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash against St. Johnstone.

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