MFM FC coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu
By
Zazi Bariza

Church
team, MFM were the biggest winners on the opening day of the 2016/17
Nigeria Professional League season as they recorded a resounding 3-0
win over a hapless Niger Tornadoes.

Sikiru
Olatunbosun, Stephen Odey and Adegboyega Adekunle all scored within a
frenetic six first half minutes to ensured that the Lagos side came
out with an emphatic win.

The
second half expectedly was a mere formality as neither side was able
to find the back of the net.

The
victory makes the Olukoya Boys early league leaders, as no team could
match their 3-0 victory; while Odey means the MFM star has score in
all three meetings against Tornadoes in the NPFL.

In
Enugu, it was a rather disappointing start to a title defence as
champions Rangers  were beaten 2-1 by Abia Warriors in front of
their home fans.

The
NPFL champions rolled out an almost familiar starting lineup, with
Fortune Omoniwari leading the line as the only new face in the first
eleven.

It
was the former Heartland and Akwa United star that opened the goal
gate when he scored early in the first half.

The
celebration was however short-lived as Emeka Isaac’s strike from 25
yards was deflected in to see both sides go into the break on level
terms.

The
second half saw new signing, Daniel Etor, come on for Omoniwari, but
much did not change for Rangers as Warriors continually grew into the
contest.

The
visitors’ progress in the game was rewarded late on when the centre
referee pointed to the spot after Chibuzor Madu handled in the area.

Godwin
Zakin made no mistake from the resultant penalty as he sent Nana
Bonsu the wrong way to hand Warriors their first ever victory over
Rangers.

At
the Yakubu Gowon stadium, Goals from Guy Kuimien and Emeka Ogbugh at
the edges of both halves helped last season’s runner-ups, River
s
United
to a 2-1 win over El Kanemi Warriors.

United
always appeared favourites in the game, following their impressive
home record last season (W16, D2) and would have gone ahead in the
opening minutes but Guy Kuemian headed wide from five yards.

Bernard
Ovoke also missed as the Port Harcourt fans were kept waiting for an
opener.

But
Kuemian made amends and calmed frayed nerves when he turned in Lukman
Mohammed’s strike to give the hosts the lead going into the
interval.

Ovoke
pulled a fine save from El-Kamemi’s George Michael early in the
second half, while Kuemian and newboy, Esosa Igbinoba came close; but
it was Emeka Ogbugh who double the lead with a decent finish with one
minute left.

Former
U20 star, Bello Kofarmata pulled one back for El Kanemi, but it was
too late for Ladan Bosso charges to make it a comeback.

Earlier
on Saturday, the game between Kano Pillars and Ifeanyi Uba was
abandoned after FC Ifeanyi Uba players walked out of the pitch early
in the second half in protest of some questionable decisions by the
centre referee. Score was 1-0 in favour of Pillars.

ALL
WEEK ONE RESULTS


Kano
Pillars vs Ifeanyi Uba (abandoned)

Enugu
Rangers 1 – 2 Abia Warriors

Rivers
United 2 – 1 El-Kanemi

MFM
3 – 0 Niger Tornadoes

Katsina
United 2 – 1 Gombe

Shooting
Star 2 – 0 Lobi Stars

ABS
FC 3 – 1 Akwa United

Wikki
Tourists. 0 – 0 Nasarawa United

Remo
Stars. 1. – 2 Plateau United

Enyimba
1 -0 Sunshine Stars

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