- Published on Sunday, 30 July 2017 20:46
- Hits: 992
By Ademola Olajire
Remo Stars extended their unwanted record to eight matches without a win as they failed to sustain an impressive first half against MFM FC at the Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu.
Coach Fatai Osho started six of the club’s U19 players, including goalkeeper Tunde Adekunle, who posted a man-of-the-match against the second –placed ‘Olukoya Boys’. Remo’s supporters were wondering at the end why those boys had not been playing in place of the regulars.
As expected, the mountaineers carved out the most chances in a frenetic first half, with Sikiru Olatubosun, Stephen Odey and Onuwa Chukwuka at their entertaining best. Olatunbosun, Odey and Adekunle Adegboyega had chances to get the visitors on the scoresheet in the first half, but Tunde Adekunle was in brilliant form, including blocking a one-on-one with Olatunbosun and finger–tipping away an in-swinging free kick by Stanley Okorom as Adegboyega and Odey cocked the trigger.
Despite a much–changed squad, the home boys played with confidence and invention, with Onuoha Chukwujekwu, Isaac Paul and Obi Ekene keeping things tight at the back while Kenneth Chisom, Dauda Shefiu, Issah Aliyu and Shiju Oshobe won applause from the crowd with their touches in the midfield.
In the second half, MFM FC came all out, charging at Remo Stars’ defence endlessly, as Onuwa, Olatunbosun and Odey increased the tempo. Several times they came short against Adekunle.
In the 55th minute, the visitors won a penalty kick after substitute Akuneto Chijioke was upended in the box. Odey blasted the ball over the bar, but referee Oluwabonmi Olayombo ordered a re-take. Adekunle read Odey well and dived low to his right to save the kick.
The stadium came truly alive. Apparently exasperated, MFM coach Fidelis Ilechukwu pulled out both Odey and Olatunbosun, bringing in Austin Ogunye and Adebayo Waheed. Both men would combine for the only goal of the match in the 71st minute, Waheed slotting the ball into the box for Ogunye to bundle past Tunde Adekunle.
The visitors could not add to their tally and the home boys could not muster the motivation to go for a goal, even as Victor Mbaoma’s fiercely–struck free kick with four minutes left was well dealt with by goalkeeper Abayomi Folarin.
Fidelis Ilechukwu (Coach, MFM FC): "I am very happy that we got the three points. However, the condition of the field was not very good as my players struggled to keep the ball. I am not taking anything away from Remo Stars but I think we should have won by a higher margin. Odey losing the penalty kick? That is football. I was not angry that he lost the first kick and the re-take. That happens in football. If we get a penalty in our next match, Odey will still get the responsibility to take the kick. These things happen in football. We are looking forward to our next match against Enyimba, and we will work hard for another three points."
Tunde Adekunle (Man of the Match): "I am very happy to get this opportunity to show what I am capable of. I have always been praying to have opportunity and today I got it and I am delighted with my output. In truth, I am always very confident about penalty kicks. I have not been scored many penalties in my career. However, I am sad that we still lost, but that is football."
Remo Stars 0-1 MFM FC
Shots on target: 2-8
Shots off target: 1-4
Free kicks: 11-18
Corner kicks: 1-10
Yellow Cards: (Tunde Adekunle 58’ (Remo Stars) - Adekunle Adegboyega ‘84 (MFM FC)
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