Out of favour Super Eagles midfielder Hope Akpan scored the first goal for Blackburn Rovers to help them beat English Championship high fliers Middlesbrough by 2-1.

Akpan found the back of the net in the 47th minute for the game’s opening goal with a header, his third headed goal this season before Danny Graham made it 2-0 for Rovers making Adam Forshaw late strike for Middlesbrough a consolation.

His goal will sound as a timely reminder to the new Super Eagles crew as they get set to list players for Nigeria all important AFCON 2017 double header against Egypt.

He is presently having his best season in front of goals in over five seasons as he presently has four goals for Blackburn Rovers from his role as a defensive midfielder in the 26 games he has played this season.

24 year old Akpan has four caps for Nigeria, the last of which came during Nigeria’s ill fated attempt to qualify for the defence of their AFCON 2013 crown last year.

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Former Super Eagles manager Sunday Oliseh blacklisted players not playing top flight football in Europe a rule that kept him out of the Eagles the last 8 months however there’s no word yet from Super Eagles interim manager Samson Siasia regarding players from the second division.