English Premier League club Chelsea has hailed the performance of their midfielder John Obi Mikel despite failing to inspire Nigeria to a win as they were beaten 2-0 by Colombia in their final group game of the football event of the Rio Olympics in the early hours of Thursday.
Mikel, a Nigeria international who plays for Chelsea, was on from start to finish as the Nigerian U23 side were beaten by their Colombian counterparts, even though they had already sealed passage to the quarterfinals as group B winners.
Reacting to the game and Mikel’s performance, the English club wrote on their website: “The Chelsea midfielder remained the linchpin of a second-string Nigerian side as their coach, Samson Siasia, chose to rest players ahead of a guaranteed last-eight game, but the newcomers struggled to find their feet against an improving Colombian line-up.
“The Champions League winner with the Blues orchestrated most of the offensive moves, nearly enabling an equaliser for Nigeria with a deft lob through the Colombian back four, but a surging Oghenekaro Etebo spurned the chance.”
The 29-year old has been impressive so far for Nigeria at the Games, and will be hoping for a better outing when he leads them out in their quarterfinal game against Denmark on Saturday.