The South Africa midfielder made a cameo appearance in Steven Gerrard’s team on Thursday after he was punished for breaking government rules
Bongani Zungu returned to action in the Uefa Europa League as Joe Aribo’s Rangers walloped Royal Antwerp 5-2 in the second leg of their round of 32 fixture.
A fortnight ago, Zungu was dropped from the Gers’ first-team alongside four other players after breaching coronavirus lockdown rules in Scotland but he was drafted back to Steven Gerrard’s team on Wednesday after they faced ‘strong disciplinary actions’.
A day later, the Bafana Bafana star was introduced as an 82nd-minute substitute for Steven Davis as Rangers cruised to the next round of the European competition with a 9-5 aggregate win.
Be honest, you didn’t predict 9-5 when the draw was made 😅
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) February 25, 2021
Cameroon’s Didier Lamkel Ze scored Antwerp’s second goal at Ibrox Stadium but it was not enough as goals from Alfredo Morelos, Nathan Patterson, Ryan Kent, Borna Barisic and Cedric Itten completed the rout for the hosts.
Super Eagles duo Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo were on parade for Rangers but the former was replaced at half-time.
Thursday’s result made history as the first time Rangers scored five or more goals in the knockout round of a major European competition since October 1990.
5 – Rangers have scored 5+ goals in a knockout match in major European competition for the first time since a 6-0 win vs Valletta FC in October 1990 in the European Cup. Overload.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 25, 2021
The 9-5 aggregate score stands as the highest-scoring two-legged tie in the Europa League since Helsingborgs 8-6 Heerenveen in the 2007-08 first round.
“I am really proud of the boys and I thought the performance was outstanding in large parts,” Gerrard said in his post-game interview.
“Obviously, we’ve conceded a couple of goals which we will look at and try to grow from, but over the course of the two legs in-terms of our attacking quality and how dangerous we have looked, the players deserve a lot of credit for that.
“We have scored wonderful goals over both legs and we have caused this opposition endless problems.
“So we deserve to be in the draw tomorrow and we look forward to it with excitement. We park it up now and move onto the next challenge.”
Aribo, Balogun and Zungu will turn their attention to next Premiership outing which is a trip to Livingston on March 3.