October 24, 2021

Bolasie scores first Middlesbrough goal in Watford draw

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The Congolese forward got his maiden goal for Boro as the Hornets continued their push for a return to the English elite division

Watford played out a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough in Monday’s English Championship duel, with Ismaila Sarr and Yannick Bolasie both finding the net.

Boasting victories in their last six encounters, the Hornets travelled to the Riverside Stadium with the aspiration of extending their winning streak. Albeit, the hosts had another idea in the keenly contested affair.

After a cagey opening, Middlesbrough suffered a slight setback following the substitution of injured Sam Morsy.

The Egyptian midfielder was forced off the pitch on the half-hour mark following a tackle from Nathaniel Chalobah. He was subsequently replaced by Hayden Coulson.

However, it was Xisco Munoz’s side who opened the scoring in the 32nd minute after deflecting Phillip Zinkernagel’s shot past goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

That deficit woke Neil Warnock’s men from their slumber as the game headed towards the break. Despite a series of corner kicks and attacking forays, Watford goalie Daniel Bachmann put up a good showing to stop efforts from Paddy McNair, Neeskens Kebano, and Djed Spence.

The second half produced a big spark as both clubs raised the standard of their play to seal all points at stake, but there were no goals to show for it.

Nonetheless, it was Warnock’s men who equalised with 12 minutes left on the clock. Patrick McNair delivered a brilliant free-kick in the box and Bolasie got down well to score a superb header – his first strike for the club since joining them on loan from Everton on January 28, 2021.

Even at the draw, manager Munoz expressed his disappointment with the result secured against the Boro.

“Right now, I’m only thinking about what we can work on better for the next game,” he told the club website.

“Our team has very good numbers and we need to keep going, play with the same ambition as we have been doing in the next games.  

“I’ve said before that we will sometimes have difficult moments and it isn’t easy. When we win, I always say we can enjoy for 20 minutes and then think about the next game.

“Today I’m disappointed, and after I’ll work for the next game. We’re always working for what we can improve because we know we have important games ahead.”

Nigeria international William Troost-Ekong was in action for Watford from start to finish, while his compatriot Isaac Success was introduced for Ken Sama in the 83rd minute.

With this result, the Hornets occupy the second spot in the log after amassing 79 points from 40 outings – five points behind leaders Norwich who face Huddersfield Town on April 6.