MFM FC Club promises to build on flying start to 2016/2017 NPFL

MFM was able to record the first clean sheet in one of the biggest win for the weekend, promising to consolidate on the achievement.

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MFM FC players acknowledging cheers from their fans after mauling visiting Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at Agege Stadium in Lagos on Sunday, January 15, 2017. play

MFM FC players acknowledging cheers from their fans after mauling visiting Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at Agege Stadium in Lagos on Sunday, January 15, 2017.

(NAN)

Lagos-based MFM FC on Sunday put up a superlative start to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Day 1 fixtures, comfortably dispatching Niger Tornadoes 3-0 at Agege Township Stadium.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MFM was able to record the first clean sheet in one of the biggest win for the weekend, promising to consolidate on the achievement.

The Olukoya Boys were able to put the disappointment of the last season behind them when the team had to labour till the last day to escape relegation.

The Church Boys, another of their sobriquets, had to defeat the continental seeking FC IfeanyiUbah 1-0 to remain in the top flight of the league.

In their prelude to the 2016/2017 season, MFM saw five of its regular players leave the club, notably the diminutive midfielder Ifeanyi Ifeanyi who departed for Akwa United and its striker Musa Newman.

Reacting to their departure, MFM’s creative midfielder, Chukwuma Onuwa, said they had brought in the services of better replacement for the departed players.

MFM bolstered Fidelis Ilechukwu’s squad for the new Nigerian topflight with two defenders, three midfielders and five attackers as they aim for laurels in their second sojourn in the NPFL.

The newly-signed players are Waheed Abolore (Remo Stars), Yakubu Taofeek (Ikorodu United), Shakiru Jolaosho (Right FC) Suleiman Abdullahi (Lobi Stars) Abdulrahman Abdulsalam (Sunshine Stars) and Akpesiri Naibe (Liberty FC).

Others include Waheed Adebayo (First Bank) Okoli John (Messiah FC) Gold Busayo (Sunshine Stars) and Agbane Candy (Akwa United).

The new sign-on are players from the Nigeria National League (NNL) and the NPFL.

In preparation for the new season, the Olukoya Boys participated in the Gold Cup pre-season tourney late last year where it came second behind Lobi Stars.

Ilechukwu also said that he was confident the team would do well after finishing second behind Lobi Stars in the Gold Cup pre-season tourney.

In the first match of the season, MFM kick-started its campaign on a flying note comfortably dispatching the Mina-based Niger Tornadoes 3-0.

The Olukoya Boys ensured it took no chances with its trademark of high pressing game which paid off with all the three goals coming in the first half.

The team converted the first chance at goal through pacy winger, Sikiru Olatunbosun in the 25th minute.

The Olukoya Boys increased the tempo of their attractive brand of football and their effort paid off four minutes after the opening goal with another from its last season top scorer, Stephen Odey in the 28th.

He doubled the lead for Ilechukwu’s men with a master class finish.

Adekunle Adegboyega put the Minna-based outfit to the sword in the 32nd minute as he netted the third goal of the day after he collected a low pass from Olatunbosun.

Coach Bala’s men came out strong in the second 45th minute as they surged forward in their numbers but were contained by the Olukoya Boys defenders who stood tall with Folarin Abayomi pulling brilliant saves.

Speaking after the match, Illechukwu said that he was happy with the outcome of the match, adding that it was a nice experience starting with a clean sheet.

“We had a perfect day today and I am specifically happy that we had a clean sheet. The season is still young and we have some brace-ups needed for the team.

“The team is still taking shape and we hope to perform better as the league progresses,’’ he said.

The Technical Adviser of Niger Tornadoes, Abubakar Bala, said that it was painful losing with such a margin but that his team would study its lapses in the first match.

“This is an eye opener, we will need to go back to the drawing board to assess our performances in preparation for the next match,’’ he said.

NAN reports that MFM tops the league table with superior goals difference and will play its second match away to FC Ifeanyi Ubah.

Match-day one results

Kano Pillars 3 - 0 FC IfeanyiUbah

Shooting Stars 2 - 0 Lobi Stars FC

MFM FC 3 - 0 Niger Tornadoes

ABS 3 - 1 Akwa United FC

Rivers United FC 2 - 1 El-Kanemi Warriors FC

Rangers International FC 1 - 2 Abia Warriors

Katsina Utd 2 - 1 Gombe United FC

Remo Stars 1 - 2 Plateau United

Wikki Tourists 0 - 0 Nasarawa United FC

Enyimba International FC 1 - 0 Sunshine Stars