Mikel makes Trabzonspor debut while Nhamoinesu and Kanga score for Sparta Prague

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John Obi Mikel Nigeria World Cup
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The ex-Nigeria midfielder made his bow for the Black Sea Storm in their draw with the Reds, while the Zimbabwean and Gabonese players were on target

John Obi Mikel made his long-awaited debut for Trabzonspor in their 2-2 draw against Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League game.

Mikel joined the Turkish side as a free agent on a two-year deal after leaving Championship side Middlebrough.

He was handed a starting role by manager Unal Karaman and was in action for 46 minutes, before making way for Alexander Soerloth.

While on parade, the 32-year-old looked sharp but was cautioned in the 32nd minute as his team got a valuable Europa League away point.

Former Zimbabwe international, Costa Nhamoinesu put Sparta Prague ahead in the 16th minute before Gabon’s Guelor Kanga gave the hosts a two-goal advantage.

With six minutes left to play, Ghana international Caleb Ekuban reduced the deficit before Alexander Soerloth’s late strike rescued Trabzonspor from defeat.

Anthony Nwakaeme featured from the start to the finish but fired blanks. The return leg will be held on August 15 with the winners on aggregate proceeding to the next round.