CAF CONFED CUP: MFM LOSE TO DJOLIBA AT HOME 0-1
The hopes of Lagos-based club, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Footall Club, making it into the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup suffered a big blow on Sunday.
The Olukoya Boys were beaten 1-0 at the Agege Stadium by Malian club, Djoliba AC.
MFM before now have been near invincible at the Soccer Temple; but they were a shadow of themselves in Sunday’s first leg CAF Confederation Cup playoff tie.
Their Malian opponent proved too experienced for them with Mohamed Cisse’s 75th-minute strike helping the visitors take a vital away victory into the return leg in Mali.
Sunday was the first time MFM will be losing a continental game at home, and they will now be facing a daunting test in the return leg.
After they were bundled out of the CAF Champions League, fans of the Lagos club were hoping to see an improved side in the second tier continental club championship, only to be left disappointed.
To qualify for the group stage, MFM FC will need to beat Djoliba AC convincingly in next week’s away fixture.
Indeed, Djoliba will be proud of themselves that they finally ended their poor run against Nigerian teams; having lost in past meetings with the likes of Warri Wolves, Shooting Stars and Sunshine Stars among others
Chijoke Akuneto nearly made it a dream start for the hosts as he was expertly teed up by Chukwuka Onuwa after just a minute but the former shot wide.
MFM continued their search for the opener with Bashiru Monsuru coming close with another effort in the 7th minute.
Akuneto came close with another effort three minutes later, this time around his goal-bound free-kick was well saved by Djoliba goalkeeper Adama Keita.
MFM’s best chance of the half fell to Joshua Abah in the 19th minute but he placed his shot agonisingly wide after nicely controlling the ball inside the box.
The visitors took total control of the game afterwards, carving out a number goal-scoring opportunities.
Mohammed Cisse had a goal-bound effort blocked by Okorom Stanley in the 26th minute after Ospino Egbe spilled a long pass by Seydou Diallo.
Egbe had to be at alert to deny Naby Soumah from close range two minutes before the half hour mark.
t took another fine save from Egbe to prevent the Malians from taking a well deserved lead in the 34th minute as he smartly kept out Siaka Bagayoko shot.
The pattern of play continued in the second half with Djoliba controlling proceedings.
MFM’s defence marshalled by captain Austine Opara however prevented them from creating any meaningful chance.
Okorom came close to breaking deadlock in the 65th minute but his free-kick from the edge of the box was tipped over by Keita.
Cisse put Djoliba ahead in the 80th minute, putting the ball past Egbe following a beautiful cross by substitute Cheick Niang.
Substitute Lawal Abayomi nearly equalised for MFM two minutes later but his effort went inches wide.
Okorom also had a free-kick saved in the closing minutes of the game.