MFM 1-0 Enyimba: Elephants suffer first NPFL loss in nine outings

Enyimba FC lost for the first time in nine NPFL games as Odeyemi Ebenezer’s strike handed MFM FC their first ever win over the Nigerian champions at the Agege Stadium on Thursday evening.

The People’s Elephant could not climb to their great heights and a lackluster first half performance characterised by indecisive attacking play was punished by Ebenezer’s 22nd minute finish.

Olufemi Kayode and Orok Gabriel were called upon for the missing John Noble and Anayo Iwuala, both of whom were away on international duties, while the rest of the starting lineup remained unchanged from the side that beat Sunshine Stars three days earlier.

The hosts showed character and tested Kayode early when Akani Elijah fired straight at the keeper after just two minutes. 

Austin Oladapo responded with a well curled freekick that was handled by the MFM goalkeeper, Adeniyi Bamidele.

Odeyemi Ebenezer fired the hosts in front midway in the first half as he reacted first to a loose ball after Akani Elijah’s initial effort was spilled by Olufemi Kayode.

Cyril Olisema could have drawn Enyimba level almost immediately but somehow managed to direct his header wide from point blank range.

Tosin Omoyele and Samad Kadiri were sent on at the restart and the second half took a completely different dimension as Enyimba commanded proceedings, but the home side showed tremendous discipline and rarely let the visitors behind their line.

Victor Mbaoma was close to restoring parity when Farouk Mohammed’s freekick flew into his space, but the forward fell short of the contact needed to put the ball past the goalkeeper.

With little time left, Stanley Okorom maneuvered his way on the right and sent the ball towards Mbaoma, but a last ditch interception thwarted the defender’s effort.

In the end, Ebenezer’s goal stood as the difference between the sides as Fatai Osho’s side tasted defeat for the first time since the week two fixture against Kwara United in Ilorin.

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