3 Oct 2016

MATCH REPORT: MFM FC 1-0 FC Ifeanyi Ubah

Stanley Okorom 24th minute audacious screamer ensured that Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club of Lagos will play in the Nigeria Professional Football League come next season. It was an historic 1-0 win over Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club of Nnewi in the final match of the 2015/16 Season played at the Agege Township Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Olukoya Boys did not have their destiny in their hands because a win for Heartland Football club of Owerri over host, Plateau United Football club in Jos would have render whatever positive result against Ifeanyi Ubah FC in Lagos meaningless. But the champions of the church World Cup still had to win while expecting victory by Plateau United FC which would be enough for them to keep their status in the NPFL and they did just that in an emphatic fashion.

Both teams began the encounter on a high with a lot of precision but the home team made more meaningful impact as they won the first free kick after two minutes of play when Sikiru Olatunbosun was brought down by the away team defender meters away from the box but Ifeanyi Ifeanyi couldn't make the free kick count as his effort went inches wide.

The visitors settled into the game controlling the flow through the middle. Loute Isaac had an opportunity to test MFM FC goalkeeper Abayomi Folarin from inside the box but his effort was wasted. Four minutes later, the Anambra Warriors goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa pulled a big save to deny ifeanyi his goal chance off a brilliant free kick won by Stephen Odey.

MFM FC's petit midfielder Onuwa Chukwuka linked Sikiru and Stephen up with sumptuous passes in the 20th minute but the two forwards failed to carve out an opening that could've led to a goal.

Defender Stanley Okorom broke the deadlock four minutes after the strikers failed to beat coach Raphael Everton's defence when his sublime right-footed long range shot caught Ezenwa napping in between the sticks.

The 33rd minute of the proceedings saw the Lagos-based team receiving two cards. Goalkeeper Abayomi was booked for time wasting while the team captain Ifeanyi was sent off by the refeere after lodging a complaint about the card given to his goalkeeper. The first 45 minutes ended with Okorom's goal separating both sides.

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and his wards started from where they stopped in the first half as they continued their dominance despite the numerical disadvantage. Olatunbosun who was a torn in the flesh of the Nnewi based team raced on to a lofty pass from Onuwa but his final ball was blocked by the away team defence.

Everton's men gathered momentum and controlled the game by stringing passes together as they asserted their authority in the middle of the park with the hosts tightening up their defence line.

In his bid to stabilise the game, Ilechukwu made his second tactical change of the game after striker Newman Musa was substituted for defensive midfielder, Atu Irumekhai and utility midfielder, Sheriff Alashe for injured holding midfielder Oladele Oshobe.

The visitors were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute when Sheriff was adjudged to have nodded the ball into the hands of his teammate inside his box but the resultant spot kick by Tamen Medrano was saved by Abayomi.

Kojo Baah of FC Ifeanyi Ubah was sent off after a rash challenge on Sikiru less than a minute after the missed spot kick. The Olukoya Boys defended their one goal lead to claim the maximum three crucial points at stake to end their first ever campaign in the Nigerian top flight on a remarkable note.



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