Rangers’ decision to sign Ianis Hagi in January was thoroughly vindicated on Thursday evening as the Romanian wizard scored twice to help Steven Gerrard’s men complete a stunning turnaround at Ibrox.
Braga dominated the first half and threatened to run away with the tie when Abel Ruiz doubled their lead in the second half, but Hagi provided a moment of pure precision to get the hosts back into the game.
A fine left-footed finish tickled the inside of the post to halve the deficit before Joe Aribo’s slalom eventually resulted in a shock equaliser.
But the best was yet to come as Hagi’s right-footed free-kick took a wicked deflection on its way into the corner of the goal – a strike which sent Ibrox into raptures.
The scenes were scarcely believable given the Portuguese outfit’s superiority for large spells of the game, but that only added to the drama of the occasion.
Naturally, Hagi’s performance was at the heart of the post-match reaction and he went in front of the BT Sport cameras shortly after the game finished.
The 21-year-old was asked to sum up his emotions after the game and he was clearly overwhelmed by the atmosphere inside the ground, per BT Sport.
“It’s amazing, it’s amazing. Ibrox, baby. Oh man, it’s just different.”
He was then asked if this was the best moment of his career, and his answer is sure to delight the Gers faithful.
“I guess so yeah. I also had some pretty good moments before but scoring a brace in a European competition is amazing. It’s a dream come true.”
"It's amazing! Ibrox, baby! It's just different!" 😆
Dreams come true insists Ianis Hagi after he scored twice in Rangers' thrilling comeback victory over Braga.
An incredible European debut for the 21-year-old! 👏 pic.twitter.com/TGOFu2mOTo
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 20, 2020
The January loan signing has already made a strong impression since arriving in Glasgow.
That Hagi’s performance represented the best moment of his career so far is certainly an indication of how much of an impact the electric feeling inside Ibrox had on the creative playmaker.
Everybody associated with the club will surely be hoping that this is just the first of many special European nights for the ambidextrous maestro.