Rotherham United 1-0 Middlesbrough – Match Report
Hakeem Odoffin’s second-half strike confirmed Rotherham United’s Sky Bet Championship safety after a crucial victory against Michael Carrick’s side.
This result also means that Middlesbrough are guaranteed a fourth-placed finish, with Luton Town finishing in third.
Odoffin scored his fourth goal of the campaign, with a powerful right footed shot from outside the box into the bottom corner.
‘Boro were forced to make a sudden change to their starting 11 ahead of kick-off, when Jonny Howson suffered an injury during the warm-up.
This meant that Paddy McNair came into the line-up, with Bryant Bilongo a late addition to the substitutes bench.
Millers’ boss Matt Taylor also made changes to his side, with Lee Peltier and Conor Coventry both absent due to muscle injuries sustained against Cardiff City.
These changes meant that Odoffin and Shane Ferguson came into the team.
‘Boro were almost ahead inside the opening seven minutes of action but Richard Wood reacted quickly to clear Riley McGree’s attempt away from danger.
Carrick’s side had penalty appeals waved away by the referee on the half-hour mark, when Chuba Akpom was played through on goal.
Middlesbrough were reduced to ten men in first-half stoppage time, when Anfernee Dijksteel illegally halted Jordan Hugill’s run into the ‘Boro box and was dismissed as a result.
Odoffin’s strike from distance broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second-half, with Rotherham edging closer to their Championship survival.
Second-half substitute Tommy Smith had a great opportunity to draw ‘Boro level but blazed the ball over the top.
There were further claims for a penalty when Isaiah Jones was nudged over by Cameron Humphreys inside the area, but the referee denied the ‘Boro claims once again.
In the final minute of proceedings Viktor Johansson was forced into an important save when a cruel deflection turned the ball goal-wards, which meant that Rotherham held on to ensure all three points.
‘Boro now wait to see who they will face in the Championship play-offs, with the final two places still up for grabs.
Tickets for the home leg of their semi-final are set to go on sale at 10AM on Tuesday, 2nd May.
The match will be played at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday, 17th May at 8PM.
Rotherham XI: Johansson, Harding, Humphrey, Wood, Bramall, Lindsay, Odoffin (Hjelde 71′), Rathbone (Kelly 71′), Ogbene (Fosu 19′), Hugill, Ferguson (Wiles 40′)
Subs not used: Hemfrey, Kioso, Quina.
Middlesbrough XI: Steffen, Dijksteel, McNair, Lenihan, Bola, Barlaser, Hackney (Mowatt 60′), Jones, Mcgree (Crooks 80′), Akpom, Archer (Smith 46′)
Subs not used: Roberts, Finch, Bilongo, Muniz.