Nigerian stars Calvin Ughelumba Bassey, Joe Aribo, and Leon Balogun were all in Rangers’ starting eleven but failed to rescue the Gers from falling to a 1-0 defeat at Sparta Prague on matchday two of the Europa League.
Rangers lost their opening match in the competition to Lyon at home and needed a positive result in the Czech Republic to brighten their qualification chances.
But a tame start for the Scottish champions allowed David Hancko to steal in and head Sparta into the lead after half an hour, a strike which proved to be the winner at the Generali Arena.
The chances of Steven Gerrard’s men grabbing an equaliser dimmed midway through the second period as midfield ace Glen Kamara was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Bassey, who impressed in an unfamiliar centre-defence role, would be miffed to end a memorable day on a sour note.
The left-back was on Thursday included in the Super Eagles squad to play the Central African Republic in a World Cup qualifying doubleheader – his first international call-up for the three-time African champions.