Akuneto seals 1-0 win for MFM against El-Kanemi
By Alfred Okoligwe
A Chijioke Akuneto strike early in the first half ensured maximum points in successive games for MFM FC as they won 1-0 in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game against El-Kanemi Warriors played at the Agege Stadium on Monday morning.
The Olukoya Boys came into the game against visiting El-Kanemi Warriors on the back of an away win over FC Ifeanyiubah in Nnewi last weekend and know that a victory will help their climb up the league standing.
The home team created the first chance of the game after 10 minutes when Nojeem Akinyemi’s cross-cum-shot was well saved by El-Kanemi goalkeeper George Michael. The visitors came close a minute later when Anthonio Dasosa’s effort came off the upright but the assistant referee’s flag went up.
The goal arrived after 14 minutes in what was a sweeping move by the home team. Stanley Okorom shot from the right of the teams attack was flicked in by Chijioke Akuneto as the visitors defence struggled to contain the home team.
Nojeem Akinyemi should have doubled the lead in the 27th minute. Onuwa Chukwuka’s defence splitting pass to the striker was well saved by the visitors goalie.
The visitors had chances of their own to register at least a goal. Hard working Anthonio Dasosa should have at least hit the target when presented with a free kick opportunity in the 35th minute. With minutes to go in the half, Michael Ohanu headed effort went narrowly wide as the first ended with MFM leading 1-0
The tempo of the game ebbed a little on resumption as the home team were content sitting back and protecting their slim lead. However, Julius Emiloju should have increased the lead after three minutes of resumption when he had a one-on-one opportunity with George Michael at his mercy. His chip was very heavy as the opportunity went begging.
In what was an uneventful half, MFM lost their goalkeeper to injury. Emmanuel Nasamu was replaced in the 67th minute by Abayomi Folarin after sustaining a groin injury.
The home team increased their points haul to 33 after 24 matches as the league heads goes on break for the World Cup.
Fidelis Ilechukwu: “This is the best result we can have going into the World Cup break. The visitors are a good team and so we had to stay strong. I thank God my boys got the result today and this result has put us in good frame of mind going to the break. We are indeed happy for this break. This will enable the players recharge their batteries for the final phase of the league. For us to have earned six points in two games is something am still trying to digest. We are moving up the table where we rightly belong.”
Onuwa Chukwuka: “I thank God for the victory and I believe we are gradually getting back to our best. It has been a difficult season for us, at some point we were closer to the relegation zone than the top. How can a team that was gunning for the title only last season go on relegation? We are happy that the league is going on break and we hope to come back better when the resumes.”
Michael Ohanu: “We are not happy with the result but that is football for you. We thought we were going to leave Lagos with at least a point but I guess that is not to be. We hope to take advantage of the World Cup break and hopefully do well this season.”
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