Rangers coach, van Bronckhorst, defends Balogun after red card

Rangers coach, van Bronckhorst, defends Balogun after red card

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has backed Leon Balogun after the defender was shown a red card during their 3-1 victory over Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership at the Fir Park on Saturday.

It was the Nigerian’s first sending off this season in 19 league appearances, following what was perceived as a dangerous challenge on Dean Cornelius in the 29th minute.

The Gers played over an hour of the fixture away from home with 10 men, but managed to pick up the three points to temporarily close the gap on Celtic.

An own goal by Teenager Liam Kelly in the 14th minute had put Rangers ahead before Balogun was given the marching orders.

Van Bronckhorst brought on Calvin Bassey for Amad Diallo in the 31st minute to help reduce the pressure from the home team.

Balogun’s exit allowed the home side to restore parity before the champions rallied to claim all three points.

The Gers manager has however come to the defence of the Nigeria international but also refused to blame the referee.

“Leon wanted to win the tackle, but in these circumstances, the margins are very little so the ref decided to give the red card and we had to respect that, move on and make sure we had the focus on the minutes that we had to play after that sending off,” Van Bronckhorst was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.

“Of course, we conceded the goal but I think we changed the game in the second half.”