NPFL: 10-man MFM FC get the job done in Lagos
NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 02/10/2016
A 2015/16 NPFL final day victory for MFM FC proved just enough to guarantee the Lagos based team top flight football after seeing off FC Ifeanyi Ubah 1-0 at the Agege stadium on Sunday.
A mid season slump affected the Olukoya Boys as dropped points at home and a poor away record combined to see them struggle through successive match days but a first half strike by Okorom settled matters against the Anambra Warriors despite playing the final 57 minutes of the encounter with ten men.
After an even proceedings in a game both sides had something at stake, the home side soon took control of the clash threatening early with Stephen Odey and Olatunbosun proving a menace to the visitor's back-line.
Knowing that they needed an outright victory to stand any chance of retaining NPFL status next season, it was not a surprise to see Fidelis Illechukwu employing an all attacking tactics in a bid to secure an early.
The breakthrough came after 23 minutes after a fine inter-changing play saw Stanley well positioned for a shot on target and the youngster did not hesitate as he went for it with full power to send the ball into the top corner of Ikechukwu Ezenwa's goal for 1-0.
The goal sent the fans wild in the stands and from that time on, MFM FC took full control, dictating play, creating chances and kepping possession to the delight of the ecstatic fans.
All of that however changed ten minutes later when the home side's Captain Ifeanyi Ifeanyi was sent off for a perceived dissent on the referee following an argument for a yellow card shown to his goalkeeper Bayo Folarin for time wasting.
Play was delayed for a while following agitations from the home side but after a few minutes, play resumed and this time it was Ifeanyi Ubah on the front foot all the way.
Despite the onslaught by the away team, Ilechukwu steered his team to a first half finsih with a one goal cushion.
After the break, the Anambra Warriors continued from where they had left off in the closing stages of the first half in what was a one sided affair.
The pressure eventually paid off when MFM FC was penalized for ball handling inside the area with the referee pointing to the spot inside the final 20 minutes.
Medrano Tamen stepped up for the task of putting the ball behind Folarin but the goalkeeper came out tops with a superb save to deny Ifeanyi Ubah the equalizer and retain his side's lone goal lead.
Ifeanyi Ubah's coach Everton effected attacking changes in a bid to take advantage of the extra man but MFM FC held firm to their lead, defending as a unit and doing just enough not to concede possession in vital areas.
Folarin played his own part expertly with tidy saves and in the end, the Olukoya Boys deservedly took the three points to move up the log ahead of Heartland who dropped points against Plateau in Jos.