NPFL Invitational Final: Okpotu Hits Brace As Home Eagles Outscore MFM

NPFL Invitational Final: Okpotu Hits Brace As Home Eagles Outscore MFM

By Adeboye Amosu:
The home- based Super Eagles beat MFM FC 3-2 to emerge winners of the Nigeria Professional Football League invitational tournament at the Sani Abacha Stadium here in Kano on Sunday.

Anthony Okpotu scored a brace for the Home Eagles with substitute Kingsley Eduwo netting the other goal.

Jonathan Zikiye and Uwaga Chuka were on target for MFM.

MFM bossed the opening exchanges and nearly took the lead on two minutes but Timothy Danladi’s goal-bound header was cleared was cleared off the line by Adegboyega Adekunle.

The Home Eagles struggled to get a foothold on the game with MFM’s Chukwuma Onuwa dictating the pace for his team in the midfield.

Okpotu wasted the Eagles’ first real chance of the encounter, placing his shot off target from inside the box.

Ali also had a shot saved by MFM goalkeeper Folarin Abayomi on 32 minutes.

Home Eagles coach Salisu Yusuf made the first substitution of the clash, taking off Sunday Faleye, who sustained a head injury, for Emeka Ogbuchi three minutes before the break.

Okpotu who was top scorer in the NPFL last season with 19 goals opened scoring for the Eagles on the dot of half time.

The Lobi Stars striker raced on to a through ball by Ali and slotted the ball past the onrushing Abayomi.

MFM head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu introduced Lawal Abayomi early in the second half as his team searched for the equaliser.

Peter Eneji came close to doubling his team’s lead in the 56 minute, while Chijoke Akuneto had a shot saved by Home Eagles goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai two minutes later.

Okpotu got his second of the game in the 69th minut,e hitting the roof of the net after he was set up by substitute Nura Mohammed.

Eduwo added the third for the Home Eagles eight minutes later following another assist by Mohammed.

Zikiye reduced the deficit four minutes from time, while Uwaga gave his side hope of a fightback by netting the second on the dot of 90 minutes.

Earlier in the day, Plateau United beat Akwa United to secure third position in the competition, while Enyimba defeated Kano Pillars 3-2 on penalties in the fifth and sixth playoff.

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