John Obi Mikel featured from start to finish as Tianjin Teda were held to a 1-1 stalemate against Hebei CFFC in their opening game of the 2018 Chinese Super League season.
Uli Stielike’s men started the tie on an impressive note when Jiakang Hui put them in front in the 25th minute after benefitting from a Johnathan assist.
The goal was enough to see them through the first half. On resumption, Ezequiel Lavezzi missed a chance to put his side at par with their hosts when he failed to convert from the penalty spot.
However, with four minutes left to play, Chengdong Zhang levelled proceedings for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The former Chelsea midfielder played a pivotal role to help the Tianjin Tuanbo Football Stadium’s outfit escape relegation last season. Despite being hampered by a hip injury he made 13 appearances.
He will be looking to help Tianjin Teda secured their first victory in the league when they travel to Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium to face Henan Jianye on March 11.