Remo Stars finally banished their Nigeria Professional Football League opening fixture hoodoo at the third time of asking as they cruised to a hugely significant 2-0 win against hosts MFM FC in the 2021-22 season curtain-raiser at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.
Qudus Akanni scored the first goal of the nascent season in the 55th-minute and forward Andy Okpe put the final nail in the coffin of the Olukoya Boys in added time to hand Gbenga Ogunbote’s newly-promoted side all three points.
With MFM’s traditional home ground at the Agege Stadium closed for repairs, the fixture was fixed for the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan and then moved to the Teslim Balogun Stadium before being moved back to Onikan a few hours before kick-off.
If the intent was to throw the visitors off kilter, it was MFM who appeared disoriented with Remo full value for their win.
Twice before Remo had gained promotion to the top-flight but never managed to win their opening fixture with the Sky Blues also getting relegated from the NPFL on each ocassion.
Remo had also never beaten MFM in four previous attempts, managing only a solitary draw in that run.
Both records have now been erased and the Ikenne-based side will hope their auspicious start to the campaign will be a positive portent for the rest of their season.
After flirting with relegation last season following a sluggish start to the season, MFM will hope that Friday’s result is nothing more than a temporary blip and look to head coach Gabriel Olelakan to speedily correct course next time out.