Najeem Adeyinka and Oladapo Alabi scored within three minutes of each other to help MFM to a first win in eight matches with victory over a listless Adamawa United at the Agege Stadium on matchday 11 on Sunday.
The troubled Lagos side has been besieged by off-field worries that has claimed former assistant coach Yemi Olanrewaju who resigned amid the uncertainty surrounding the status of head coach Tony Bolus who was reportedly told to ‘step aside’ by the club’s management over their poor run of form.
In Bolus’ absence, a consortium of coaches have over seen recent MFM matches but the results failed to improve with the club hurtling dangerously towards relegation.
Sunday’s game against Adamawa United was overseen by a new coach Olalekan Gabriel who named Elijah Akanni captain for the day, taking the armband from goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi.
It proved to be an auspicious move as two quick-fire goals from Adeyinka and Alabi in the 21st and 24th minutes condemned the woefully obliging visitors to a sixth defeat in seven games.
In truth anything other than a win for MFM against the division’s worst side who’d lost every away game would have been unthinkable and it was indeed the perfect opponents for the home side to regain some confidence.
Despite the win, MFM remain just a point off relegation waters although they move up to 14th in the table. Adamawa United prop up the division and are still without a win after 11 games.
Elsewhere, Godwin Obaje scored a brace as home side Abia Warriors continued their resurgence by recovering from conceding an early goal to thrash Warri Wolves 4-1 in Okigwe.
It was a third win in four matches for Imama Amapakabo’s side and they move up to 16th on 12 points with Warri Wolves dropping down to 19th.
Matchday 11 proved to be an auspicious day for troubled teams with FC Ifeanyiubah sauntering to a 3-0 victory against Katsina United in Nnewi. The win lifted the home side to 17th on the log, a point below their opponents.
11th-placed Heartland FC continued their run of good form with a 1-1 draw at 10th-placed Sunshine Stars with the home side’s goal machine Sadeeq Yusuf scoring a 71st minute spot kick to cancel out Pascal Eze’s early opener for the visitors.
Chiamaka Madu scored the only goal as 4th-placed Rangers halted leaders Kwara United’s eight-game unbeaten run at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium.
Kwara United keep their place at the top with 21 points but have now played two more games than 2nd-placed Enyimba who have the same number of points.
Austin Ogunye’s 5th minute winner proved enough to help Lobi Stars overcome Kano Pillars in Markurdi with the result moving Lobi Stars to 8th on 16 points, four off 3rd-placed Pillars.
And 9th-placed Jigawa Golden Stars inflicted a fourth defeat in five games on 7th-placed Nasarawa United with Faisal Ahmad scoring the only goal in the 63rd minute.
Earlier on Saturday, Charles Atshimene scored the only goal as Akwa United moved up to 6th with victory against 18th-placed Plateau United in Uyo.
2020-21 NPFL MD11 Results
Saturday, 20 February
Akwa United 1-0 Plateau United
Charles Atshimene 63′
Sunday, 21 February
MFM 2-0 Adamawa United
Najeem Adeyinka 21’, Oladapo Alabi 24’
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Heartland FC
Sadeeq Yusuf 71’ (PEN) – Paschal Eze 16’
Abia Warriors 4-1 Warri Wolves
Chukwuemeka Obioma 23’, Godwin Obaje 45+4’, 66’, Paul Samson 81’ – Sunday Williams 3’
Rangers 1-0 Kwara United
Chiamaka Madu 30’
FC Ifeanyiubah 3-0 Katsina United
Evans Obonda 24’, Nonso Nzediegwu 48’, Emmanuel Uchegbu 59’
Lobi Stars 1-0 Kano Pillars
Austine Ogunye 5’
Jigawa Golden Stars 1-0 Nasarawa United
Faisal Ahmed 63’