Kpekpe header ends Go Round’s winless streak
By Fisayo Dairo
Go Round FC ended a run of six-game winless streak with an enjoyable 1-0 win over MFM FC at the KrisDera Stadium Omoku on Wednesday.
Defender Chris Kpekpe – dropped from the starting lineup after Sunday’s draw against FC Ifeanyiubah – headed home the game’s only goal in the 50th minute, nine minutes after he had come on as a substitute.
Despite a barrage of chances created by both sides in the second half, Ngozi Elechi’s men held on for the win which takes them outside the relegation zone at the halfway stage of the season.
The hosts made two changes to their last starting set up on Sunday, replacing Kpekpe with Morice Chukwu while enigmatic striker Ekunta Etenfa makes his first appearance of the season in place of Chidi Nwachukwu.
MFM have been on the road for the past one week travelling from southeast to north-central and now south-south part of the country in a grueling away schedule. Fidelis Ilechukwu made five changes to the side that lost in Minna on Sunday, naming high profile duo Sikiru Olatunbosun and Chukwuka Onuwa among the substitutes.
Go Round went in search of an early goal with Etenfa volleying wide early on while striker Shedrack Oghali called MFM’s goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi to action in the eight minute, his effort, after a neat chest control and turn well saved by the goalkeeper.
Both teams continued to speculatively have a go at their opponents goal but the half’s biggest chance fell to MFM striker Nojeem Akinyemi in the 21st minute. Go Round goalkeeper made a harsh clearance which fell to the striker from 30 metres out. His effort was however miscued and even failed to reach the goal mouth.
The hosts also created a good chance of theirs in the 27th minute when Okon Otop beat an offside trap to meet Morice Chukwu’s ball over the top. The striker’s attempted chip over the goalkeeper was well read by Abayomi who saved to keep the scoreline goalless.
Ever-present versatile star Odinaka Onyirimba blocked an effort with five minutes left and subsequently succumbed to a groin injury. His place was taken by Kpekpe in what could be termed a destiny moment.
With virtually the first chance of the second half, Chris Kpekpe was left unmarked inside the area and he graciously headed home Ebuka Akobundu’s corner. The goal came just seconds after the visitors introduced Sikiru Olatunbosun for Azeez Balogun.
Not resting on their slender advantage, Go Round sought for an insurance goal and only a last ditch block by Abisoye Olawale prevented Adelani Adeseun from doubling their lead in the 55th minute.
MFM then added Chukwuka Onuwa into the mix after the hour mark and just three minutes later, he combined brilliantly with Olatunbosun whose effort rolled side of Nwabali’s left post.
Both sides continued to create half chances at both ends, Julius Emiloju and Adelani Adeseun going closest for MFM and Go Round respectively as the game wore on.
In the end, the scoreline remained 1-0 in favour of the hosts as Ngozi Elechi begin his three-game ultimatum with a deserved win. Fidelis Ilechukwu and his MFM wards will head back home to host Niger Tornadoes on Sunday while Go Round will be guest to FC Ifeanyiubah in Nnewi.
GO ROUND: 1. Stanley Nwabali 2. Ebuka Akobundu 19. Vincent George 14. Morice Chukwu 5. Azu Chile 33. Odinaka Onyirimba (Chris Kpekpe 41′) 13. Ekunta Etenfa (Adeseun Adelani 53′) 10. Nelson Esor 7. Okon Otop 8. Stanley Worlu 9. Shedrack Oghali
Unused Subs: 24. Victor Obiowo 3. Chinonso Udeh 6. Reuben Essien 34. Chinonye Chinda 35. Junior Ogar
GOAL: Chris Kpekpe 50′
MFM FC: 1. Folarin Abayomi 28. Stanley Okorom 24. Oriyomi Lawal 30. Opara Austine 5. Abisoye Olawale 4. Adeshola Ademola 20. Julius Emiloju 16. Chijioke Akuneto (Chukwudi Ekeocha 83′) 9. Nojeem Akinyemi (Chukwuka Onuwa 63′) 40. Azeez Balogun (Sikiru Olatunbosun 50′) 29. Waheed Adebayo
Unused Subs: 32. Emmanuel Nasamu 2. Sikiru Olatunbosun 10. Chukwuka Onuwa 21. Chukwudi Ekeocha 26. Lanre Ferinyaro 27. Kenneth Elom 38. Elijah Akanni
BOOKED: Stanley Okorom
Referee: Ms Ndidi Madu
Man of the match: Stanley Worlu (Go Round)