Dakkada FC missed the opportunity of leaping to the top of 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League, after playing out a 1-1 draw with MFM FC in a matchday four fixture at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
The visitors came from a goal down in the first period to snatch a point in the second half, as the home side extended their unbeaten run to four games this season, following two draws and two wins.
Dakkada FC Chief Coach, Lawrence Kingsley made just one change to the starting lineup that claim the maximum points ls in Nnewi on Sunday – with attacking midfielder, Kokoette Udo, replacing on-loan Akwa United midfielder, Emmanuel Charles.
Kingsley’s opposite number, Tony Bulus, ringed six changes to the starting eleven that recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over visiting Sunshine Stars on Matchday three. Goalkeeper Adeniyi Bamidele started ahead of Osayi Kingdom, while Clement Ogwu, Akanni Elijah and Ebenezer Odeyemi who started the tie against Sunshine Stars, were introduced later in the second half, with Elijah turning out to be the architect of MFM’s equalizer.
The Matchday four tie saw the Orange Boys exerting on-field supremacy over their visitors from Lagos in key match statistics including shots on targets and corner kicks. For Dakkada FC, It was a case of exacting revenge on Olukoya boys, after the Lagos-based club ended their six-match unbeaten away run with a 1-0 victory in January last year, but it wasn’t to be.
MFM goalkeeper, Adeniyi Bamidele had to deal with two Aniekan Ekpe’s freekick in the first 20 minutes.
On the 25th minute, Kokoette Udoh was let lose on the left, as the striker dribbles his way into the box, only to be stripped of possession by Kelechi Ogoh, before he could make an attempt.
Dakkada’s Christian Ekong and MFM’s Muyiwa Balogun volleyed wide their attempts, just before the half-hour mark.
10 minutes before netting the opener, Solomon Chigozie, flicked a backheel at the edge of the box, but Ogoh swiftly intercepts the ball, before it could reach Kokoette Udo.
On the 44th minute, Thomas Omokhudu pulled a save to stop Najeem’s freekick.
The hosts took a lead in the first half injury time. Aniekan Ekpe delivered a lofted pass to Kokoette Udo, who raced down the left before squaring a pass to Chigozie Solomon, who made a sharp turn, before delivering a right-footed shot into the top corner.
Tony Bulus introduced the quintet of Ebenezer Odeyemi, Tenim Adebayo, Clement Ogwu, Akanni Elijah and Barry Legbara in the second half, a tactical decision that paid off for the Lagos-based club.
Coach Kingsley brought on Isaac George nine minutes into the second half to
replace Dakkada’s new recruit, Nnamdi Mejuobi whose solitary strike against FC Ifeanyi Ubah on matchday three, gifted the Uyo-based side its first away win of the season, after he failed to impress.
Substitute Akanni Elijah makes early impact for MFM five minutes after replacing Kenedinum Nelson at the hour mark, veering into box, all by himself, only to be dispossessed by Francis Odinaka.
With 12 minutes of action left to play, substitute, Temim Adebayo put the Prayer Warriors on level terms, drilling a low left-footed beyond Thomas Omokhudu’s reach, following a well-laid pass from Akanni Elijah.
The visitors ensured a share of spoils, as they rebuffed every attacking moves by their hosts.
In a post-match reaction, Coach Kingsley expressed his disappointment for failing to get the maximum points off their opponent, after winning the previous game away from home.
“We feel so disappointed dropping a point at home, after we picked three points in Nnewi. Coming back we expected to get the maximum points, but it’s football, some games you draw, some games you win,” he said.
Coach Bulus revealed his tactical plan, adding that the draw serves as a morale booster to his team.
“It’s not easy getting a point a point against a great side like Dakkada FC, it’s a moral booster to the team,” he said.
“Actually, i have studied the team (Dakkada FC) for quite sometime, that’s why I decided to bring on three players at the start of the second half, so that we will be able to go at them and at the end it worked”
MFM’s goalscorer, Tenim Adebayo revealed he was overwhelmed scoring his first goal of the season and earning a vital away point for his team.
“I was so overwhelmed and I’m so happy to score my first goal of the season away from home.
“This away point is a morale booster for us. And when Dakkada comes to our home, we are going to get the three points by God’s grace”
Dakkada FC sit on the 5th position with eight points, two places and a point above MFM on the NPFL log.
While Dakkada will be visiting Lobi Stars, MFM will play host to Enugu Rangers at the Agege Stadium on Matchday five on Sunday, January 17, 2021 by 16:00 (GMT+1).
By Uwem Uko