Rangers stars help nation seal World Cup playoff spot after nail-biting clash
Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Rangers stars help nation seal World Cup playoff spot with nervy draw

Two Rangers stars helped Nigeria seal a World Cup playoff spot courtesy of a nail-biting 1-1 home draw with Cape Verde on Tuesday.

Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo both featured as the Super Eagles moved a step closer to Qatar 2022.

Rangers stars Leon Balogun (pictured) and Joe Aribo helped Nigeria secure a World Cup playoff spot. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ahead of his side’s final fixture in Qualifying Group C, following a 2-0 win over Liberia on Saturday, Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr knew a draw with the island nation would be enough to top the pile.

They made the perfect start at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen opening the scoring in the first minute.

Cape Verde quickly got back on level terms, though, with Stopira stabbing home a finish from a corner five minutes later.

Gers stars Balogun and Aribo, who started in defence and midfield respectively, had chances to put the hosts back in front but were unable to take them.

Balogun sent a header from a corner wide in the 25th minute before his Ibrox teammate saw a shot and a header both saved.

Another Rangers star, Calvin Bassey, is also eligible for Nigeria but wasn’t called up for their final two qualifiers.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The second half was particularly nervy, with clear-cut chances few and far between.

Aribo was taken off in the 78th minute but Balogun – who was booked with five minutes left – stayed on for the full game, helping Nigeria resist considerable late pressure from their closest rivals in the group to secure a decisive point.

After topping a four-team group that also included Liberia and the Central African Republic, they will now face another group winner over two legs for a place at next year’s World Cup.

In other news, Sky Sports News have issued an intriguing update on Rangers’ hunt for a new manager.

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