Warri Wolves leave it late to see off MFM

By Blessing Fowowe

Two quickfire goals from substitutes Michael Okoyoh and Charles Atshimene sealed a 2-0 victory for Warri Wolves over MFM FC in their Matchday 24 encounter held at the Warri City Stadium on Sunday.

Okoyoh and Atshimene’s goals in the 88th and 90th minute proved to be enough for the Seasiders as they were made to wait late in the game to get their goals.

Both teams wearing black armbands, observed a minute silence at the start of the match, and a 20th-minute applause in honour of Nasarawa United player, Chineme Martins who passed on last matchday after slumping on the field of play.

First half

The home side started the livelier of both teams. Williams Moses was first to test the keeper’s resolve with a cross into the box in the 7th minute of the game. The keeper however reacted quickly to gather the ball. At the other end, Justice Zachariah tried to a shot from distance but his shot went wide off the post.

Few minutes later, Wolves’ Abu Azeez set Samuel Amadi free on the left with a deft pass, Amadi did well to take out his marker but the MFM defence reacted quick enough to snuff out the impending danger. Shortly after, Abu Azeez easily found his way into the box but fluffed his attempt with a shot that went off the face of goal.

As the game lit up, the home team kept probing and in the 35th minute, MFM goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi pulled off a great save to deny Efe Yarhere. Six minutes later, Dennis Obasi connected a cross from Akanni Elijah with an acrobatic effort but he could only hit the side netting.

Second half

Barely four minutes into the start of the second half, the visitors were reduced to 10 men after left-back Bala Akintunde was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession. Akintunde was initially booked for swinging his elbow at an opponent and few seconds later, he got his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card for dissent. MFM head coach Tony Bolus responded to the red card by withdrawing attacker Temim Adebayo for defender Chimezie Izuchukwu in the hope to keep things tight at the back.

With the numerical advantage, and the crowd getting loud and boisterous, Wolves had a chance to break the deadlock, but goalkeeper Folarin pulled off another save to deny Atshimene. The home team continued to pile pressure on MFM’s defence, and in one of such instances, Adeyinka Nojeem almost turned the ball into his own net, but he had his goalkeeper to thank for keeping the ball out.

MFM sat deep, waiting for a chance to hit their host on a counter, and they almost found an opening in the 73rd minute after a quick counter attack, but the Wolves back line stood solid, snuffing out the Challenge.

Respite came for Wolves in the closing minutes of the game with two goals in as many minutes. In the 89th minute, Okoyoh, unmarked inside the box with a loose ball falling to his path, wasted no time firing his attempt into the back of the net. Less than two minutes after Okoyoh’s goal, Atshimene capitalised on a broken MFM defence to double the lead for the hosts with a curler which went right into the top right corner of the post to earn Wolves a 2-0 win.