MFM FC held on to remain on top of Group A of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after a 1-1 draw at Katsina United in one of league rescheduled matches at Muhammadu Dikko Stadium on Wednesday.
The Lagos-based club have extended their lead at the top of the pile to six points ahead of second-placed Enyimba after round of eleven matches.
Chijioke Akuneto gave the Fidelis Ilechukwu boys the lead one minutes before half break, as his long-range effort beat Katsina United Dami Paul before Martins Usule scored from close range for Katsina with twenty minutes left to rescue a point for Abdullahi Biffo’s men.
Katsina United started the game on a promising note as Sani Faisal and Joshua Agboola were involved in the quick attempts, forcing Abayomi Folarin in goal for MFM to make a smart saves.
Sani Faisal also bridged MFM defense before setting up Tasiu Lawal, who fired wide in the process.
United continued to push for the opening goal but was denied by the woodwork twice in the 10th minute. Destiny Ashadi’s free-kick beautiful free-kick came off the crossbar while Usule’s header from a rebound also hit the post.
It was all Katsina United doing the attacking play and were rewarded with a penalty in the 15th minute when Joshua Agboola lobbed the ball over Abisoye Olawale in the box, and the defender handled the ball in an attempt to thwart Agboola’s move.
Ashadi’s spot-kick was saved by Folarin and that kept the score at 0-0. Ashadi was a shadow of himself as he couldn’t leave up to expectation and was subsequently booed by the home fans until he was replaced later in the second half.
Before the half time whistle, Akuneto strikes to give the away team the lead which brought silence to the cheering crowd.
Katsina United players returned for second half action even before the match officials and their guests, knowing full well that they had to react if they must avoid a defeat.
Bashir Sherif would have got the equalizer when he dribbled past Jonathan Zikiye, but his shot from close range went off target. Moments later, Tasiu Lawal fired a shot against the upright after combining with Ashadi.
MFM’s counter-attacking approach almost paid off in the 68th minute. Michael Ohanu picked a loose ball and fired from distance, but Dami Paul prevented Katsina United from going two goals down.
Usule finally breached MFM’s defense with 20 minutes to time to ensure Katsina United shared the points.
Katsina United have now recorded 14 points from ten matches and preserve their unbeaten home record since gaining promotion to the NPFL back in 2017, while MFM leads the group with 22 points after 11 matches played.