Chinese Super League 2017: John Obi Mikel Scores First China Goal in Tianjin Teda's 2-0 Victory Over Chongqing Lifan
Former Chelsea standout John Obi Mikel finally scored a goal in China as Tianjin Teda FC also scored their first win of the 2017 Chinese Super League season with a 2-0 rout of Chongqing Lifan at the Tianjin Tuanbo Soccer Stadium on Sunday.
After a goalless first half of action, Mikel was able to break the game's deadlock in the 48th minute as he buried a goal with a nimble reaction after Senegalese teammate Mbaye Diagne's shot was blocked by Chongqing goalkeeper Deng Xiaofei. It was the first goal after three games in the China top-flight competitions for the Nigeria international.
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An own goal by Chongqing's Croatian defender Goran Milovic in the 82nd minute sealed the win for the Tianjin Tigers as the visitors were unable to touch the net of Tianjin shot-stopper Du Jia.
It was an unexpected performance for Mikel, who had an injury scare in the closing minutes of their 0-0 draw against Jiangsu Suning at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center during their previous match on March 10. The 6-foot-2 midfielder was supposed to be sidelined for 10 days, according to The Guardian, but head coach Jaime Pacheco was able to put him in the starting XI versus Chongqing.
Mikel was also an asset on the defensive end for Pacheco as he "made two vital clearances" late in the match to prevent Lifan from scoring the equalizer. He played the entire 90 minutes despite not being at 100 percent.
Meanwhile, his fellow Super Eagles star, striker Brown Ideye, was on the pitch for only 65 minutes before he was substituted by local midfielder Wang Dong, as per the Pulse.
Tianjin Teda will be on the road again in the fourth round on Saturday as the team visits newly-promoted side Guizhou Zhicheng at the Guiyang Olympic Sports Center.
Meanwhile, Chongqing will face fellow struggling squad Jiangsu Suning at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center on Friday for their fourth round fixture.