Determined MFM pull off comeback on Tornadoes to extend lead in Group A
By Fred Edoreh
Visiting Niger Tornadoes got close to demystifying the legend of the Soccer Temple (Agege Stadium, Lagos) but surrendered their early two-goal lead against hosts MFM FC who rebounded to a 3-2 victory in the last minute in a Matchday 8 encounter of the NPFL on Sunday.
Tornadoes sent shock through the spines of Lagos fans when Peter Abishaya powerful right-footed strike just outside the box in the second minute beat MFM keeper Jerry Isaac flat. They almost made it two in the third minute but Isah Azado failed to connect Abishaya’s flick.
They made good their threat in the ninth minute as Jonathan Osondu connected Azado’s pass and blasted in to double the lead. It would have been three in the 17th but Osondu’s unchallenged hit curved away from target.
Undaunted, MFM kept searching and winning several set-pieces but most times wanting to work the ball in without shooting, just as Tornadoes goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko denied them a number of opportunities with great saves.
Michael Ohanu got close in the 19th but misdirected his header off Akanni Elijah’s free kick while Tornadoes defenders threw bodies in the box to twice block MFM’s strikes in the 29th and 34th minute.
On 36 minutes, amid a crowded defence Tornadoes defender Gwaza Iorliam cleared off the goalline with the keeper Aliko displaced. But the visitors could not hold onto their two-goal lead for long as they were cracked open in the 45th minute when Abisoye Olawale jabbed in from a corner kick to take the score to 1-2 into the break.
MFM left no one in doubt that they meant business on resumption as Mubarak Said waltzed into the box in the 47th minute but choose to pass, and the ball was intercepted.
Shortly after, Akanni Elijah slipped a weighted pass to Michael Ohanu in Tornadoes box with a weighted pass. The striker shielded the ball off his marker well and on the turn, shot past Aliko for MFM’s equalizer in the 52nd minute.
For both sides, it became a sort of first to strike for the winner. This carried on for several misses amid missed chances and saves.
Ohanu fluffed the chance provided by Iorliam’s miscue from a goal kick while Osondu ballooned over an empty net in MFM’s box from close range with goalkeeper Isaac displaced.
Tornadoes were then pinned in their half in the final minutes with MFM winning successive corner kicks.
Eventually MFM got the winner and deservedly so when Kenedinum Chuks sprang the offside line of Tornadoes to run in unmarked with the ball before lobbing it over an advancing Aliko to seal the full points for the Olukoya Boys.