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Rangers star Jose Cifuentes thought he’d opened his goalscoring account with Ecuador.

The 24-year-old South American midfielder found the back of the net after starting in Ecuador’s World Cup Qualifying clash against Venezuela.

Ibrox summer signing Jose Cifuentes was fastest to react when the ball rebounded from an Ecuador corner – which he initially won – to prod the ball home from the six-yard box.

This was after the ball ricocheted off Eintracht Frankfurt defender William Pacho – himself once linked to Rangers – and bounced back across goal.

Jose Cifuentes has first Ecuador goal ruled out

The goal was eventually ruled out after a sizeable delay, Pacho being adjudged to be offside by the most minute of margins amid suspicions of handball.

The entire thing had the Ecuador team incensed and Jose Cifuentes is still without his maiden goal for the country despite earning his 18th cap.

The midfielder – who is one of six Rangers players currently out on international duty – had an eventful game after being yellow carded just past the half-hour mark.

Cifu also forced a stunning stop from Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo with a powerful drive on the half volley around 69 minutes in.

Eventually subbed in the 90th minute of the game, the clash with Venezuela would finish 0-0, leaving Ecuador 6th in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table.

A glimpse of what’s to come for Rangers?

Whilst Jose Cifuentes might not have got his first goal for Ecuador in the end, the performance and minutes played will be encouraging for Rangers.

With World Cup Qualification on the line this is an intensely competitive level of football in South America and Rangers fans will hope this translates back into Scotland.

The Rangers star didn’t cop the greatest of feedback from frustrated Ecuador fans at the end of the game but this was a solid showing for a player still getting back to fitness after an injury sustained during the last international break.

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