The Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu and some Lagos fans on Thursday expressed satisfaction with the good football artistry displayed by MFM and Kano Pillars in their mid-week match.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high-flying MFM hosted Kano Pillars in the Match Day 8 encounter that ended 1-1 at the Agege Stadium.
Tinubu said that it was delightful to be part of such an important match played under floodlight, adding that he was satisfied with the outcome.
“This is a quality game, and I’m impressed with the turnout of spectators to the stadium, this is unprecedented in history to see such a large crowd in stadium.
“This is what we see in Lagos in time past. I am sure everybody who has watched this game would be satisfied and we like to come back and watch more matches.
“We will like to come and see MFM play at Agege Stadium; it has been a brilliant night and if one considers the economic benefit it would have brought to Agege community, it is enormous.
“It has been a fantastic night of football in the annals of football in Lagos State,’’ he said.
On MFM and the match, Tinubu said the team was a growing brand in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and therefore, needs little time to adjust.
“MFM is a growing brand and I see them adjusting fast to the NPFL, we see a lot of confidence in the spirit of the MFM team and I am happy for them.
“Consider those who came to watch this game and you will be surprised at the level which MFM is; it is fantastic that Lagos is hosting this type of premier league action.
“The Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF), Lagos State Football Association (FA), and Lagos fans are doing fantastic job so also the stadium managers here.
“Up till today, we have yet to receive a report of any crowd trouble or fracas in our stadiums in Lagos State; this is fantastic management,’’ he said.
Other fans that also lent their voices on the outcome the match described it as a testimony of improvement in the quality of Nigeria’s Premier League games.
Some also praised the maturity of the fans whom they said, showed fair play spirit regardless of the outcome of the match.
Olatunji Gabriel, a sports consultant, said that the game should serve as a template for league games in Nigeria with the hospitality showed by Lagos fans.
“We need to give kudos to the fans in Lagos for their maturity; this is a testimony that we can get things right in this country no matter the situation.
“What we saw in the game was enough to show to the world that football in Nigeria is now on the right pedestal, this will encourage more people to come to the stadium.
“When the fans see that they are safe, they will come to the stadium to watch our premier league games and stop being fanatical about English Premiership,’’ he said.
Abba Gaffar, an ardent supporter of Kano Pillars, said he was happy to have Kano Pillars play close to his residence, adding that it was a good match.
“I was told by my Yoruba friend that Kano Pillars will be coming to Lagos and I became excited about it; I also informed some that were natives of Kano too.
“We are all here to give solidarity to our brothers from our state, we are happy to see them and we are well entertained by the match.
“I hope Kano Pillars will be coming back to Lagos soon because we have been supporting them for long even before we came to Lagos to trade,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the stadium was full of football fans so much that many regarded it as unprecedented in the history of matches ever played in the stadium.
The thrills of the match started before the kick off of the nervy encounter when Kano Pillars supporters went to pay homage to the home team supporters.
The home team, not ready to accept the visit of the Kano Pillars supporters, rebuffed their entreaties.
NAN also reports that Kano Pillars supporters overshadowed MFM followers with some saying that Kano Pillars had prior to the game, had mobilised the support of the Hausa community.
Kano Pillars supporters were visibly on every stands in the stadium drumming support for the away team which boosted their morale.
The explosive encounter saw MFM, take the lead in the 28th minute through its right back Stanley Okorom who slotted a loose ball into the net.
MFM continued with its impressive display throughout the encounter but was unable to convert their chances after Musa Newman and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi wasted begging chances.
The Daniel Olukoya boys, however, have their goalkeeper, James Ayeyemi, to thank for displaying dexterity in keeping the rampaging Sai Masu Gida team at bay.
However, veteran Prince Aggrey and Rabiu Ali combined effectively in the second half of the game to level score after Aggrey was fouled by Bashiru Mosuru of MFM in the penalty area.
The resultant penalty was quickly converted by Rabiu Alli to give the visiting team a deserved point.
The last minutes of the game saw MFM in a spirited battle, fighting for a win but they were pegged by resolute Kano Pillars defence line after Ifeanyi’s effort hit the woodwork. (NAN)