Eagles In China – Ideye Missing, Mikel Shines But Taste Defeat, Ighalo Fires Blank In League Opener

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The much anticipated start of the Chinese Super League (CSL) witnessed games involving teams where Nigerian players ply their trade.

As many as five Nigerian players moved to China during the last CSL transfer window, with John Obi Mikel and Brown Ideye joining Tianjin Teda while Odion Ighalo moved to Chanchung Yatai.

Their teams were in action in the opening day of the CSL, and while Ideye who concluded his move to Tianjin Teda on transfer deadline day in China which was Tuesday wasn’t dressed, Mikel was on from start to finish in their 0-2 loss to Shandong Luneng.

The Super Eagles captain was however praised in the Chinese media for his performance in the game despite the lost suffered by his team, as he stood head and shoulder ahead of his teammates.

He won most of the duels he contested in the midfield, and defender well when he had to, particularly in aerial battles where he negated the aerial threat of Grazianno Pelle who lead the line for Shandong Luneng.

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In the other game involving a Nigerian player, Odion Ighalo failed to live up to his price tag of the highest earning Nigerian player as he fired blank for his side Chanchung Yatai who were thrashed 5-1 by fellow big spenders Shanghai SIPG.