- Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 21:47
- Hits: 422
By Abdul Raheem
MFM FC, on Wednesday, continued their impressive run in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) when they clawed their way back from a goal down to play out a 1-1 draw against Wikki Tourists in a rescheduled Matchday 9 fixture at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
The home side opened scoring in the first half through Shammah Tanze on 35 minutes before MFM equalised in the second half when Stanley Okorom's 61st minute screamer went past Emeka Nwabulu in Wikki's goal.
A game of two halves, Wikki Tourists dominated the first half mounting a barrage of pressure on the visitors until they scored the opening goal which took the fight temporarily away from MFM, but the team switched off and failed to make the victory safe.
However, despite playing with a second string side in the absence of Sikiru Olatunbosun and top scorer Stephen Odeh, who were rested by MFM coach Fidelis Ilechukwu, the Olukoya Boys went into the second half with determination and commitment. MFM produced a tip-tap passing style before securing the equalise 16 minutes into the second half through Okorom's belter.
Following the equaliser both sides made attempt to score but were undone by wayward shooting and resilient defending. Wikki, seemed more desperate to score but MFM were also effective trying to defend and hit back on counter-attack.
Three maximum substitutions by both sides midway into the second half showed their hunger for the winning goal, Wikki introduced their super sub Idris Guda Mohammed for Victor Yakubu, while Thompson Ezekiel replaced goalscorer Shammah Tanze and Saidu Abdullahi came in for Yau Hassan but they couldn't make it work.
MFM also brought in Ifeanyi Abara, Bashiru Monsuru and Abdullahi Suleiman for Isah Akor, Uwaga Chika and Okorie John respectively without much success as they could not increase the tally.
MFM forward, Stanley Okorom was voted man of the match.
Wikki's Yau Hassan bagged a yellow card for misconduct, while MFM's Ifeanyi Abara was also cautioned for misconduct.
Speaking after the match, Ilechukwu commended his players for getting a point in such a tough away match despite coming from another tough game against Enyimba FC of Aba in Calabar last Sunday.
He said he decided to rest some of the players who had bruises from heavy contacts in their last game as they prepare to face league leaders, Plateau United in their next game.
"I'm happy with my team's performance. We put in our best and we got a point here in Bauchi, which is not easy. The players who did not play here today are resting because of the knocks they had against Enyimba were too much so I decided that they have to rest," Ilechukwu explained to npfl.ng.
Wikki Tourists: Emeka Nwabulu 22, Festus Umanah 15, Waziri Christopher 3, Ya'u Hassan 20, Abdullahi Musa 5, Anyanwu Nnaemeka 29, Victor Yakubu 23, Richard Jonathan 28, Shammah Tanze 9, Hassan Hussein 17, Bature Yaro 25
Substitutes: Gambo Gideon 30, Ambrose Peter 6, Saidu Abdullahi 8, Harrison Madu 14, Idris G. Mohammed 24, Mubarak Umar 33, Thompson Ezekiel 19
Coach: Mohammed Baba Ganaru
MFM FC: Nasamu Emmanuel 32, Okorom Stanley 28, Elom Kenneth 27, Uwaga Chuka 3, Abisoye Olawale 5, Tchato Giscard 6, Alashe Ajibola 25, Akanni Elijah 38, Okolie John 14, Isah Akor 9, Agabane Candy 21
Substitutes: Folarin Abayomi 1, Bashiru Monsuru 18, Joseph Babatunde 40, Abdullahi Suleiman 17, Adegboyega Adekunle 22, Ifeanyi Abara 7, Adebayo Waheed 29
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