Middlesbrough booked their place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals with a 3-2 victory over Exeter City on Tuesday night.
Middlesbrough were made to work for their win over the League One opponents though. Ryan Trevitt opened the scoring from distance for Exeter City and the Grecians would go into the break in the lead.
Boro bounced back shortly after the restart through Morgan Rogers and then went ahead through Sammy Silvera. However, another long-range effort from Exeter star Trevitt levelled the scores.
Emmanuel Latte Lath’s 82nd-minute penalty put Middlesbrough 3-2 up and that was how it would end, sending Michael Carrick’s men through to the last eight of the competition.
There were some strong performances on a night that saw Boro really challenged, and one who impressed was right-back Anfernee Dijksteel. The 27-year-old has struggled for regular minutes this season and this was just his first start, but his display earned high praise from Teesside Live, who rated him at an 8/10 for his efforts.
Writer Craig Johns would go onto label Dijksteel’s performance as ‘superb’, saying:
“Superb in his first start of the season. Got down the right side really well, created some good chances and battled hard throughout.”
Staking his claim…
Dijksteel has had to wait for his chance but he certainly took it last night. His efforts on the right-hand side for Middlesbrough didn’t go unnoticed and after two substitute appearances in the Championship, he’ll be hopeful of enjoying a run in the team now.
The Dutchman made way for Rav van den Berg in the latter stages, who has spent much of this season as the starting right-back. Between those two, Carrick should now have solid cover for the sidelined Tommy Smith.
It will be interesting to see just who emerges as the go-to starter in that role, but Dijksteel’s efforts for Middlesbrough last night should go a long way to boosting his chances of finding more Championship game time moving forward.