December 9, 2019

NPFL: Tasiu Lawal’s strike lifts Katsina United over MFM

Katsina United, MFM , NPFL

A goal scored early in the game by Tasiu Lawal from the spot kick ensured that Katsina United grabbed all three points in a slim win over visiting MFM FC from Lagos in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 7 decided at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.

The game started on a bright note as both teams stamped their authority and made their intentions known at the early minutes of the proceedings.

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But it was Katsina United that looked the better side, dominating possession with the trio of Usman Bara’u, Yushau Garba and Destiny Ashadi pulling the strings for the hosts from the midfield, sharing crisp passes

They would have their nose in front with the first strike at goal through Tasiu Lawal who converted an early spot kick awarded to his team after six minutes when MFM defender Joshua Akpudje handled a goal bound ball in his own box.

The Olukoya Boys made a push for an immediate response and got the what would have been the equalizer through Alade Balogun who having pounced on a long ball forward, powered home a volley beyond the reach of Kassaly Daouda. Balogun was adjudged to have played from an offside position.

As the game proceeded, Katsina United could have doubled their advantage on 16th minutes through Joseph Atule who combined well to a clever through pass forward by Yushau Garba. Atule skipped past his marker but his finish was wayward as he kicked the ball into the air.

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Next was Denis Obasi who wasted a golden opportunity that could have restored parity for the visitors on 22nd minutes when he picked up a pass from Akanni Elijah, dribbled past his marker but his effort missed the target.

It was a very physical battle in the middle of the park as both teams repelled every threat thrown at them.

Gambo Muhammed found the back of the net on 44th minutes but it was flagged offside even before firing home

Lawal’s early strike was the difference as both teams headed for half time break.

On resumption, MFM FC threw more men forward in search of the equalizing goal. They almost put one past Daouda but Habibu Yakubu did a yeoman’s job to deflect the goal bound strike by Ogwu Clement to corner. It was an excellent piece of defending from the lad.

Determined to find an equalizer, Coach Bulus of MFM made early substitutions to strengthen his attack. On the opposite bench, Henry Makinwa waited until 80 minutes before making his first substitution, bringing on Eric Gwammy for injured Atule.

MFM came close again on 86th minutes, this time round, Justice Zacharia was played though on the counter, he skipped past Tsawanya but his weak effort was saved by Daouda.

On the reverse, it was Gambo who missed a sitter that could have rapped the game for his side after being played through by Ashadi to a point blank scoring position but his curling effort was comfortably saved by MFM goalie Folarin Abayomi in the dying minutes.

Both teams poked and knocked several times in the second half but couldn’t find the breakthrough as the game ended 1 – 0 in favour of the hosts.


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