MFM coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu could not find words to explain his team’s capitulation against Nasarawa United in Lafia.
At full time, the Lafia City Stadium scoreboard read Nasarawa United 4 MFM 0. Without his trademark suit and tie, a dazed Ilechukwu looked like a ‘rain-soaked chick’ and could not fathom what went wrong.
“I didn’t plan to lose the game talk less 4-0. This one is killing. Just like PSG coach couldn’t explain what happened against Barcelona, I can’t explain what happened today. The better team won”, he said.
This was a bad day for MFM’s famed front three. Nasarawa players were all over league top scorer Stephen Odey keeping him quiet for the larger part of the game just as playmaker, Chukwuka Onuwa was stiffened from providing the cutting edge passes from deep.
Sikiru Olatunbosun also had a frustrating evening bagging a yellow card in the process for a late tackle on Zenke Thomas.
With the trio quiet, the task was much easier for the hosts but the momentum was down to the Solid Miners’ blistering start to the game. As early as 45 seconds, Olayinka Onaolapo’s cross was nodded in by Adamu Hassan for his sixth goal of the season.
Starting on a front foot, Nasarawa pressed high up. They played with such a high tempo that MFM found it difficult clawing back.
But Olatunbosun managed to rattle Suraj Ayeleso’s palm from 25 yards in the 23rd minute. And with the first half’s last kick, Odey forced a save off Ayeleso after being teed up on the counter by Onuwa.
But that was the last positive in MFM’s timid display as the second half was all about Nasarawa United.
In the 61st minute, a training ground routine saw Eugene Obi drop a free kick into the box while advancing full back, Onaolapo jabbed past a happless Ayeleso.
Then in the 83rd minute, Onaolapo zoomed in menacingly from the right, crossed into the box and substitute, Anthony Oussou helped himself to an easy tap in.
Things went from bad to worse when Bashir Abdulrahman made it four in the 86th minute.
Nasarawa United coach Kabiru Dogo was relieved his team had avenged MFM’s defeat at home last season.
“They beat us at home last season. We didn’t want to lose again this season. We put in everything to avoid what happened last season”, he said.
He gave some insight into his match winning tactics.
“We know MFM plays very well in the first half and fade out in the second half. So we tried to stop them from playing in the first half. As soon as the first half was over, I knew we had done it”, he pointed out.
Dogo believes his team has hit the right form.
His words: “We started slowly this season. Now the team is jelling at the right time. I am happy with the boys’ performance. Every coach will be proud of these boys.”