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StoryJOHN OBI MIKEL SCORES IN CHINA

Nigerian soccer player John Obi Mikel has scored his first goal in a competitive match since he moved to China.


The player exited the Chelsea set-up as he fell in the pecking order. He agreed a move to Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA as he decided to continue his professional soccer career.

The skipper of the men’s Nigerian senior team – the Super Eagles – scored in the 48th minute in the 2-0 victory over Chongqing Lifan in the Super League. It was only his third competitive match for the Asian club but it was his first victory. His first game for Tianjin ended in a loss and the second was a draw.

Mikel’s national teammate Brown Ideye also played the game but the striker was pulled out in the 65th minute as he missed goalscoring chances. Dong Wang was his replacement.

The number of Nigerian soccer stars in China has been increasing. Former Premier League star OdionIghaloalso played the match. The ex-Watford player could not score as his team Changchun Yatai lost a home game to Shandong Luneng.

Ighalo was appointed the captain upon arriving from Watford. He enjoyed a brilliant campaign last season in England but was sold in the winter window as he was firing blank. He led the attack line but he could not inspire them to a victory.

The three Nigerian players were ignored by the coach of the Super Eagles Genort Rohr during the recent international window. Nigeria played Senegal and were poised to play Burkina Faso before it was cancelled. The players were barely settling to a new life in faraway China and in a not-so-competitive league so the German tactician opted to leave them out.