Football: Juninho's magic puts Boro back in business

Middlesbrough 2 Chesterfield 1 Middlesbrough win 2-1 on agg

SO INTENSE was the outbreak of samba fever on Teesside last night, Juninho's second coming as the Boro Boy from Brazil had to be delayed by 15 minutes. For those already inside the Riverside Stadium, and those queuing to get in, the wait was worthwhile.

On loan from Atletico Madrid with a view to a permanent return, Juninho did not quite pick up where he had left off for Middlesbrough; his last game for the club was the FA Cup final in 1997. Back on the Wembley trail, though, he made his presence felt with some touches of South American class as Middlesbrough progressed to the third round of the Worthington Cup.

He certainly did enough to impress Bryan Robson. "His fitness level looked good and his touch on the ball was excellent," the Middlesbrough manager said.

Robson was not the only one on Teesside with an anxious face as the 5pm deadline for Juninho's registration arrived without the official clearance required from the Spanish Football Association. Much to the relief of the entrepreneurs already setting out stalls piled high with Brazilian- yellow and Boro-red "Juninho 99" shirts on the main approach road to the Riverside, a 30-minute extension was granted and the fax arrived from Madrid with eight minutes to spare.

Whether Juninho 99 was of the same quality as Juninho 95-97 remained to be seen, of course. The 5ft 5in Sao Pauloan certainly looked different, wearing the Boro No 23 shirt instead of the No 10 now borne by Brian Deane. But, as one main stand regular remarked with less than 10 minutes on the clock: "He's done more already than Paul Gascoigne has all season."

Playing a roving role behind Middlesbrough's two main strikers, Alun Armstrong and Hamilton Ricard, Juninho was instrumental in the move which broke the deadlock after 25 minutes. Linking with Robbie Mustoe in central midfield, he helped to work the ball to Paul Ince on the right edge of the Chesterfield penalty area and the Middlesbrough captain scooped a first-time shot into the top corner.

The cheers were loud enough but they were positively deafening a minute later - the moment Juninho announced he was truly back. Collecting the ball deep in midfield, he eluded what seemed like half the Chesterfield team with a mesmerising diagonal run before chipping inches wide of the right-hand post.

Not that it was all Juninho and Middlesbrough. Chesterfield, beaten by Boro and their Brazilian in the FA Cup semi-finals three seasons ago, threatened long before the 85th minute move that culminated with their captain, David Reeves, tapping in the equaliser from close range.

With two minutes remaining Middlesbrough secured their passage - courtesy of Juninho, whose curling free-kick from the left was parried by Gayle, for Steve Vickers to score.

Middlesbrough (3-4-1-2): Schwarzer; Gavin (Stockdale, 80), Pallister (Vickers, h-t), Cooper; Fleming, Ince, Mustoe, Ziege; Juninho; A Armstrong, Ricard (Campbell, 90). Substitutes: Berisford (gk), Maddison.

Chesterfield (3-5-2): Gayle; Blatherwick, Breckin, Beaumont; Woods, Lomas, Carss (Willis, 77), Hewitt, Simpkins (Holland, 77); Reeves, Bettney (Howard, 63). Substitutes: Payne, J Armstrong.

Referee: B Burns (Scarborough).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral