Yannick Bolasie last scored a goal in English football on October 2, 2018
Yannick Bolasie’s late equalizer gave Middlesbroughs dwindling championship play-off hopes a boost as Neil Warnock’s side kept Watford on Riverside in good shape.
The Hornets moved ahead through Ismaila Sarr’s accidental opener when the Senegalese striker deflected Philip Zinckernagel’s shot from the edge of the box past Marcus Bettinelli.
Duncan Watmore had an offside equalizer shortly after the break, while Joao Pedro was twice close for Watford.
Substitute Bolasie leveled 12 minutes before his team’s first shot on goal when his header from Paddy McNair’s free-kick defeated Daniel Bachmann.
Second-placed Watford lost points for the second time in 12 games, but is still 10 points ahead of third-placed Brentford, who has two games in hand.
The ninth-placed Boro is six points behind the play-off places, with all rivals having at least one game in their hands.
Chances were slim throughout the game as Zinckernagel and Ken Sema gave up Watford early on, as Boro, who lost veteran midfielder Sam Morsy to a knee injury, until Bolasie’s equalizer failed to score.
Boro was only responsible for Watford’s goal as Jonny Howson and Marc Bola’s poor distances allowed Zinckernagel to block his shot, which was deflected by Sarr.
Darnell Fisher and Djed Spence played Sarr onside, although Boro thought Zinckernagel had a handball ahead of his efforts.
Watmore believed he would have scored four minutes after the restart for Boro when he blocked George Saville’s header with his back before turning the ball past Daniel Bachmann, but the flag went up.
Both defenses were on top for much of the game, although Pedro made a small shot past Bettinelli’s far post after a nice pass 20 minutes from time.
But it was Boro who faced five teams in the last six games in the bottom half while trying to reach the play-offs. He had the last word when Sema’s foul went out when Everton loanee Bolasie scored for the first time since then on Warnock’s side in January.
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock told BBC Radio Tees:
“They probably have the best squad in the league and they are the best team in the league right now.
“We knew we had to be spot on with the tactic and I thought we were today, we had to leave them behind sometimes and Duncan Watmore put on a real shift for the time he was on the pitch .
“A small mistake or two cost us a lot of time, but I can’t take my hat off today. It would have been easy to throw in the towel and feel sorry for ourselves. There are probably four of our best players injured.” now, and I thought we played some good things in the right areas sometimes today.
“I had to laugh with Yannick when he got to the free kick and I told him he was going in the box somewhere and he scored.”
Watford’s head coach Xisco Munoz told BBC Three Counties Radio:
“We’re a little disappointed because we always want the three points, but it doesn’t matter that we go ahead and have to work very hard for the next game.
“I think it was a game where we didn’t have a lot of chances, but we had a cleaner chance of scoring a goal.”
“We fought today, we did our best. Sometimes it’s difficult to play against good teams. The most important thing is that we have a point and that we have to prepare for the next game.”
- 27she was
- 5MorsyReplaced byCoulsonat the 30 ‘protocol
- 21KebanoReplaced byBolasieat the 73 ‘protocol
- 18thWatmoreReplaced byAkpomat the 73 ‘protocol
- 5Consolation Ekong
- 14thChalobahBooked at 25 minutes
- 7thZinc nailReplaced bygoslingat the 77 ‘protocol
- 10João Pedro
- 12thSchemeReplaced bysuccessat the 83 ‘protocol
- 28C Sanchez
End of the game, Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1.
The second half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1.
Away from Watford. Nathaniel Chalobah tries a through ball, but Isaac Success is offside.
Isaac Success (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Darnell Fisher (Middlesbrough).
Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).
Djed Spence (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Watford. Isaac Success replaces Ken Sema.
Corner of Middlesbrough. The corner was caused by Kiko Femenía.
Gate! Middlesbrough 1, Watford 1. Yannick Bolasie’s (Middlesbrough) header goes from the center of the box to the lower left corner. Assisted by Patrick McNair with a cross from a set piece.
Foul by Ken Sema (Watford).
Darnell Fisher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Watford. Dan Gosling replaces Philip Zinckernagel.
Foul by Adam Masina (Watford).
Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Missed attempt. Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) shoots with his left foot from the left side of the box after a set piece to the right.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Yannick Bolasie replaces Neeskens Kebano.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Chuba Akpom replaces Duncan Watmore.
Handball by Philip Zinckernagel (Watford).
Missed attempt. João Pedro (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Prepared by Ken Sema.