Rangers' Joe Aribo shines yet again for Nigeria as Celtic nightmare scenario becomes more of a reality

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo put in another excellent display for Nigeria as they qualified for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 win over Sudan.

Joe Aribo, far right, celebrates with his Nigeria team-mates during the win over Sudan
Joe Aribo, far right, celebrates with his Nigeria team-mates during the win over Sudan

Fresh from helping the Super Eagles defeat Mo Salah’s Egypt on Tuesday by playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win, Aribo started once again for Agustin Eguavoen’s men in their second match of the tournament in Garoua.

They made it two wins out of two, with Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Moses Simon putting Nigeria 3-0 ahead after just 46 minutes.

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With the match done and dusted, Aribo – who again shone with his all-round performance in Nigeria’s midfield – was replaced by Kelechi Nwakali on 65 minutes. Sudan did grab a consolation five minutes later via a Walieldin Khidir penalty.

Nigeria are guaranteed a place in the top two of Group D, although they have one pool match remaining against Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday.

Aribo is now certain to miss Friday’s Scottish Cup tie against Stirling Albion at Ibrox and also the cinch Premiership match against Livingston on January 26. If Nigeria make it to the quarter-finals, he will miss the next league match away at Ross County, while the semi-finals clash with the second Old Firm derby of the season when Rangers travel to Celtic Park on February 2.

Nigeria are now the favourites to win the tournament after two impressive performances, with Egypt winning 1-0 in Saturday’s other match against Guinea-Bissau thanks to a goal from Salah midway through the second half.

There are four matches scheduled on Sunday as the group stages continue: Gambia play Mali at 1pm, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone meet at 4pm, as do Tunisia and Mauritania, while Algeria and Equatorial Guinea face off at 7pm.

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