Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Venue: Agege Stadium, Lagos
After witnessing a total of 229 goals and 15 away wins in 115 matches, the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League serves up Match Day Thirteen action tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8, with eye-catching fixtures across ten centres in the country.
The Lagos suburb of Agege will play host to a top-half-of-the-table clash between 8th-placed MFM FC and 4th-placed Dakkada FC, both of whom will be squaring up against each other for the first time in the big time.
In August 2015 – the last time these two sides met – MFM recorded a 1-1 draw at Uyo Township Stadium against Akwa Starlets, as Dakkada FC were then known, in an NNL fixture en route to gaining promotion to the elite division.
Since then the Olukoya Boys have been recurring decimals in the top flight and shocked pundits in 2017 when they went as high as qualifying for CAF Champions League – finishing the league in second place, just four points behind eventual title winners, Plateau United, who amassed 66 points from 38 matches.
“These days” have regrettably been a stark contrast to “those days” as MFM are not only without a win in their last two outings but have also failed to score in that period.
Against Rivers united last Sunday, Coach Tony Bolus made two changes to the starting eleven which held Nasarawa United to a 0-0 draw on Match Day Eleven with Chisom Nwani and Muyiwa Balogun taking the places of Clement Ogwu and Temim Adebayor respectively. Rather than herald a positive result, those changes amalgamated into a humiliating 0-2 loss to the Pride of Rivers in Port Harcourt.
Amid the mare’s nest of his squad selection, Coach Bolus would wish for a different midweek opposition than Dakkada FC – the only NPFL side without a defeat on their travels – especially in these parlous times where goalscoring has been a hope rather than an expectation.
Having gone winless in three outings on the trot, Dakkada bounced back to winning ways in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 thumping of Adamawa United, Sunday, with Moses Effiong – one of only two players to have started every match for the Uyo-based side – bagging NPFL’s first hat-trick of the new decade.
Coach Caleb Esu will welcome back the duo of Isaac George and Harrison Ibukun who sat out Match Day Twelve after accumulating five yellow cards apiece while striker Ojukwu Ifegwu will be serving his second of a three-match ban on account of his red card in Akure on Match Day Eleven.
Moses, who took his tally to four this season and matched the goals return of compatriots, Femi Ajayi and Isaac Geroge, has not only been ticking all the right boxes but has also been in scintillating form.
Tomorrow, Dakkada will be bookmakers’ favourites to score as they (as Akwa Starlets) have scored a goal in each of their last two visits to Agege Stadium – they won one and lost the other in two NNL fixtures against Stationery Stores and 36-Lions FC last season.
Dakkada will also be buoyed by the demonstration of a deep affection and support for them by Governor Udom Emmanuel, who recently paid all their match bonuses and sponsored their air trip to Lagos for this encounter.
Kick-Off at the soccer temple is at four o’clock in the afternoon while live text updates are available on Dakkada’s social media handles.
Eko o ni baje!
Rivers United 2-0 MFM FC
MFM FC 0-0 Nasarawa United
Dakkada 4-1 Adamawa United
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Dakkada
Lobi Stars Vs MFM FC
MFM FC Vs Jigawa GS
Dakkada Vs Rivers United
Dakkada Vs Nasarawa United