The Super Eagles defender made a big contribution as the newly crowned Scottish champions avoided defeat against their fiercest rivals
Nigeria international Leon Balogun has sent Benin and Lesotho a strong warning ahead of this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with his assist as Rangers came back to take a 1-1 draw with eternal rivals Celtic on Sunday afternoon.
With the newly crowned Scottish Premiership kings trailing by a goal following a 23rd minute strike from Norway international of Moroccan descent Mohamed Elyounoussi, the defender helped the Gers level matters in the 38th minute in the derby.
Borna Barisic’s corner was met by Balogun at first, and then squeezed the ball at the back post, with Alfredo Morelos getting the ball over the line in the Old Firm fixture as the first-half ended one-goal apiece.
However, the game ended with a point a piece as no side were able to find a winner. Although the game was a dead-rubber encounter for Steven Gerrard’s team, the result saw them extend their unbeaten league run to 34 matches.
The former Wigan, Brighton & Hove Albion and Mainz star was in action for 56 minutes before he was substituted for Nathan Patterson, while his compatriot played for 77 minutes before coming off for Scott Wright.
Elsewhere, South African star Bongani Zungu – who is on loan from French side Amiens – was an unused substitute in the low-scoring affair.
Celtic interim boss John Kennedy spoke in discontent concerning what was a dominant performance from his players.
“I’m disappointed with the result, mainly because I thought we should have won it,” he told Celtic TV. “The level of performance was good, we created a lot of good chances and scored a great goal.
“Rangers, other than the set play, they had one or two little moment where they caused a bit of problems in our box, just by putting the ball in there.”
The 32-year-old and Aribo are expected to join the rest of the Super Eagles squad on Monday as the three-time African champions tackle the Squirrels and Crocodiles next week for a place in Cameroon 2022.
Gernot Rohr’s men currently lead Group L with eight points from four games. The West African side need at least a win to guarantee their place in the biennial African football showpiece.