By Oladapo Okeowo
FC IfeanyiUbah kicked off their season with a 4-0 win over MFM FC after the imbroglio that was the first game against Kano Pillars.
The Anambra warriors started the game with the same side that played Kano Pillars bar one player as Onyekachi Akakem replaced Adou Blaise in the starting line-up. MFM dropped 3 players to the bench from the team that beat Niger Tornadoes. A decision that came back to bite the team.
The match which was IfeanyiUbah first full game of the season was anticipated. MFM is one of the few teams to have taken points from here last season, they already were off to a flying start with their victory over Niger Tornadoes whereas the home team had splurged on player recruitment but was yet to play a full game.
The game started in earnest and the home team showed its intent immediately. They kept the ball and scrambled to get it back immediately it was lost. MFM FC changes were glaringly deficient and begged the question why the coach elected to leave the players out.incidentally was the first home game of the season was action packed with
With sustained pressure, the first goal of the game deservedly went to the home team. A thunderous drive by Yaya Kone left the MFM goalkeeper no chance as it sailed into the net.
MFM went in search of the equaliser and slowly started to settle into the game but this was not to be as they fell further behind to a headed goal by NPFL veteran, King Osanga. An inch-perfect cross by Elu Wilson found Osanga in the box. He rose highest and nodded into the net. 2-0.
Three minutes later, it was 3-0. Poor defending by the away team allowed Oni Jimoh to round the goalkeeper and score his first goal of the season.
With four minutes to end the first half, MFM’s coach Fidelis Ilechukwu substituted Sulieman Abdullahi for Onuwa Chukwuka. The creative midfielder almost made an immediate impact when his pass was collected by Ogunye who shot against the crossbar.
This was the last action of the first half as the referee blew the whistle for half time.
The second half heaped more woes on the Olukoya Boys as they had to make injuries-induced substitutions. Out went Folarin Abayomi and Nwaga Chuka to be replaced by Alashe Ajibola and Egbe Ospino.
Ogunye missed another chance to pull one back as he ran onto another throughball from Onuwa but it was not second time lucky for him as he hit the woodwork again.
Second half substitute, Ifeanyi Onuigbo put the game beyond MFM FC with the fourth goal of the encounter in the 82nd minute off a well a taken free kick.
Speaking after the game, Coach Yaw Preko said the win was timely in response to the hostilities in Kano in match day 1 of the NPFL.
“I commend my players for the result recorded today. We had to respond immediately having in mind what happened in Kano. We will continue from here and build on this result to achieve higher feats. This game is over with three precious points in the kitty, we have to recover quickly now and focus on another game in 4 days time in Ilorin against ABS FC,” Preko said.
FC IfeanyiUbah will now shift focus to their next game coming up on Sunday against Ilorin based side ABS FCwhile MFM FC await Lobi Stars at the Agege Township Stadium.
In other games played yesterday, Sunshine Stars needed a late goal to beat Shhoting Stars 1-0. Rangers got their first point o the campaign after coming from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Nasarawa United. Akwa United, River United, Niger Tornadoes and ABS all played 1-1 draws. Enyimba were drubbed 3-1 by Plateau United.
Sunshine Stars vs Shooting Stars 1-0
Abia Warriors vs Katsina United 2-0
Niger Tornadoes vs ABS 1-1
Lobi Stars vs Kano Pillars 1-0
Akwa United vs Rivers United 1-1
Plateau United vs Enyimba 3-1
Gombe United vs Remo Stars 2-1
FC IfeanyiUbah vs MFM 4-0
Nasarawa United vs Rangers 1-1