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Mikel Obi played gallantly for 86 minutes as Nigeria was held goalless by Zimbabwe in an international friendly on Saturday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

Returning to his first competitive game with the Eagles since the World Cup in 2018, Mikel captained the team and was once again Mr. Reliable in the heart of the midfield.

However, the catalyst couldn’t spring the team to a win, despite showing finesse with some great passes to set up the attacking players.

Saturday’s match was the first of two tune up games for the Gernot Rohr’s men before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

It could also be Mikel’s final competitive game in a Nigerian shirt on home ground before he calls time on his international career.

The 32 year-old’s future with the national team has been a subject of debate and there have been speculations the AFCON is his last major tournament with the Eagles.

Meanwhile, the decision of Mikel making the final 23 man list for the AFCON is one for Head Coach Gernot Rohr and barring any injury, his captain will certainly be the first name to appear on the list.

Nigeria’s AFCON squad list is expected to be announced in the coming hours.

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