The battle of Nigerian stars in the Chine Super League went the way of John Obi Mikel after his club, Tianjin Teda scored a precious away win over Odion Ighalo’s Chanchun Yatai Saturday.
In what was a tight and largely scrappy affair, Ghanaian striker Frank Acheampong scored for TEDA in the closing period to seal the victory and priceless three points.
Acheampong, already on seven league goals this season, hit the net after a wonderful one-two with Mai Tijiang in the 80th minute to power coach Ulrich Stielike men to victory.
“We played our strategy today, but we should carry on the momentum in the next round,” the 24-year-old Ghanaian said.
The hosts team Yatai had twice more shot attempts than their rivals, but Ighalo and his teammates left their scoring bots at home and failed to convert any goal from their 14 shots.
“Our players were too nervous in the first half, making some mistakes. I told them to be confident on the pitch in the break. We played better in the second, and grabbed the chance to score a goal,” Teda’s coach Ulrich Stielike said after the match.
Both Mikel and Ighalo will be on Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr’s provisional team list for the Russia 2018 World Cup to be released Monday.