Aribo bags brace as Rangers hit eight past Hamilton Academical

Joe Aribo - Rangers 2019-20
The 24-year-old Nigerian got a first-half brace as Steven Gerrard’s men tore apart the Accies in Sunday’s Scottish Premiership encounter

Rangers defeated Hamilton Academical 8-0 in Sunday’s Scottish top-flight outing, with Nigeria international Joe Aribo bagging a brace.

The midfielder found the net twice in the first 45 minutes as Steven Gerrard’s men maintained their impressive start in the 2020-21 campaign.

Brian Rice’s team went to the Ibrox Stadium with the ambition of ending their two-game losing streak, however, they returned home with a basket full of goals scored against them.

Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe, who returned to the Gers’ starting XI, gave Rangers a two-goal lead in the 16th and 18th minutes, respectively, before Aribo made it three for the hosts in the goal-laden first-half.

The 24-year-old made a powerful run from deep after getting the ball and when he cut inside from the right, his left-footed shot took a deflection off Scott McMann before it sailed past goalkeeper Ryan Fulton.

Nine minutes before the half-time break, he completed his brace by firing a shot into the roof of the net after being teed up by captain James Tavernier.

Gerrard’s team continued from where they stopped in the second half as they took a five-goal lead through Roofe, who scored from close range after profiting from a rebound from Jermain Defoe’s shot.

The harvest of goals continued in the 62nd minute through substitute Brandon Barker’s deft finish following a nice build-up play from prowling left-back of Nigerian descent Calvin Bassey.

Tavernier completed the rout with a late double.

South African midfielder Bongani Zungu, who is on loan from Amiens, made his debut for Rangers after coming on for Ryan Jack at the beginning of the second half.

While Leon Balogun was in action from start to finish, Aribo made way for Iani Hagi in the 69th minute of the encounter. For the visitors, Zimbabwe star David Moyo saw every minute of action.

Thanks to this result, the Gers maintained their lead in Scotland’s top-flight having garnered 38 points from 14 games - nine points above second-placed Celtic, while Hamilton Academical remain at the base with just seven points from 12 fixtures.

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Aribo and Balogun are part of Nigeria’s squad to face Sierra Leone in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualification double-header billed for Benin City and Freetown.