FOOTBALL - Red-hot Sakamoto helps Coventry City to New Year's Day win at Middlesbrough - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Red-hot Sakamoto helps Coventry City to New Year's Day win at Middlesbrough

Coventry Editorial 2nd Jan, 2024 Updated: 2nd Jan, 2024   0

TATSUHIRO Sakamoto continued his red-hot form in front of goal after scoring a brace in Coventry City’s impressive 3-1 win at Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day.

Sakamoto struck in either half after Haji Wright fired City ahead just before the hour mark at the Riverside Stadium.

The victory capped an excellent festive period for Coventry who claimed a 2-0 Boxing Day win at home to Sheffield Wednesday before conceding at the death in a 2-2 draw with Swansea City.

And the results mean the Sky Blues sit eighth in the Championship table, three points outside of the play-off places.

Middlesbrough almost took the lead when Isaiah Jones took the ball around Bradley Collins only for Bobby Thomas to clear the winger’s cross to safety with Josh Coburn waiting to tap home.

Boro went close again as Collins dove low to his left to keep out Sam Greenwood’s low effort before then turning Morgan Rogers’ follow-up behind for a corner.

However, the home side eventually broke the deadlock on 31 minutes when Coburn headed in Jones’s cross from the right from eight-yards out.

Coventry hit back three minutes later when Sakamoto drilled the ball into the bottom right corner after Tom Glover made a superb reaction save to keep out Thomas’s initial header from a corner.

Boro almost reclaimed the lead when Greenwood fired a dipping effort inches over the crossbar from 25-yards out before Collins made an excellent save to tip Lukas Engel’s shot around the post.

However, the Sky Blues completed the turnaround after the break on 58 minutes when Wright finished at the back from Ellis Simms’ pass.

And City extended their lead on 69 minutes as Sakamoto stooped to head in Jake Bidwell’s clever cross from the left at the back post to score his fifth goal in his last four games.

Coventry are next in action at home to Oxford United on Saturday, January 6 in the FA Cup with kick-off at 12.30pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

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