As the 2015/2016 Nigerian Premier Football League began on Sunday, debutant Lagos-based teams, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) FC and Ikorodu United have shown they are ready for the competition.
The teams in their first outings in the premiership showed there is no big name in the game anymore by taking on the giants of the competition and standing their grounds.
In Lagos, Ikorodu United pulled a 1-1 draw with Abia Warriors FC at the Onikan Stadium, while MFM in Lafia secured a 2-0 win over Nasarawa United, one of Nigeria’s Confederation Cup representatives.
A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the match in Lagos, Ikorodu had more ball possessions by coming from behind to pull a draw from the league’s long standing team.
Effiong Ndifreke opened scoring for Abia Warriors in the 34th minute of the game with a shot from within the 18 yard box, but Candy Agbane drew level for the hosts in the 55th minute.
The newly promoted team in the league fought tirelessly against the Kennedy Boboye’s side through the match to see if they could secure a win.
Edema Benson, coach of Ikorodu, said that his team was determined to get the three points off the match but ended unable to defeat their opponent.
“It is our first outing for the season and for me it wasn’t a bad game.
“We have learnt something and will improve on the lapses we have noticed.
“I am duty bound to ensure there are improvements as we take on any other team in the ongoing season and trust me, Ikorodu will be a great team to reckon with,’’ he said.
The Captain of Ikorodu, Ndum Francis, said that a number of their strikers were not cleared to partake in the match which made it difficult to net goals.
“The game was a difficult one; we lost a lot of chances during the second half of the match because we had just few strikers that were cleared.
“I think my coach will work strongly on building our attack so that we can have a balanced game in our next outing,’’ he said.
But Kennedy Boboye, Coach of Abia Warriors, told NAN that he was not pleased with the result because his boys performed below expectation.
“We can’t come all the way from Abia with so much effort we put in training to get one point when we are capable of doing better.
“My boys lost concentration during the match for a number of reasons but we will deal with that and make the best out of this encounter in our next match,’’ he said.