Mikel scores in English football again after five years

Nigeria's John Obi Mikel. [PHOTO CREDIT: Mikel's official INSTAGRAM page]
Nigeria's John Obi Mikel. [PHOTO CREDIT: Mikel's official INSTAGRAM page]

Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel scored what was his second goal in English football on Sunday as his Championship team Middlesbrough defeated Rotherham United 2-1 in a league fixture.

Before finding the back of the net in Sunday’s Championship tie, Mikel’s last goal in English football was five years, 226 days ago for Chelsea against Fulham in September 2013.

Unfortunately for Mikel, his effort was inadequate for Middlesbrough as Tony Pulis’ men finished the 2018-19 season in seventh spot, a point adrift of the Championship playoff zone.

DR Congo’s Britt Assombalonga opened the scoring for Middlesbrough from the penalty spot in the 28th minute and stretched his tally to 14 goals in 42 league outings this term.

Nine minutes later, Mikel – who captained the visitors – doubled the lead by rifling his left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

The effort was the Nigeria international’s first goal since he returned to England as a free agent in January.

On the international scene, Mikel who has a handful of goals has not played for Nigeria since their group stage exit from the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia. But he is expected to be part of Gernot Rohr’s squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group B against Madagascar, Guinea and Burundi.

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