MFM FC are biggest winners on Match Day 1

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, Rivers 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.


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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