Academy graduate, Kabiru Adeniji announced his arrival in the NPFL in the best possible way after he helped Mountain of Fire and Miracles football club, MFM, to a 2-0 victory over Kwara United at Agege.
Adeniji came off the bench to score the decisive second goal as Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men bounced back from their defeat to Enyimba in match day one.
After a goalless affair in the first half at the Soccer Temple, the hosts found a breakthrough courtesy of an own goal from Kwara United’s star forward, Segun Alebiosu.
And with 14 minutes left to play, Adeniji netted the winner through a well placed header to deny the Harmony Warriors any chance of leaving with a point, just two minutes after he replaced Akanni Elijah.
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Speaking to ACLSports.com moments after the match, the academy graduate was happy with his performance and said he simply followed the words of his manager, Ilechukwu.
“I feel happy because I scored the second goal for my team,” he said. “I expected to score because I want to win the title. I enjoyed myself as my coach told me [before I came on] to go prove myself.”
Following their loss to Enyimba in the season opener last weekend, pressure was on the home side to get something positive out of the game and they started the brightest.
MFM dominated the opening half, coming close on several occasions through former Kwara United striker, Michale Ohanu, who had the best chance of the half, and Akuneto Chijioke, whose poor finish wasted a wonderful build up by the Olukoya Boys in the 17 minutes.
United also had chances of their own in, with Alebiosu rattling Folarin Abayomi’s post with a left footed drive from range before Abayomi was called into action again four minutes later but was equal to the task.
The visitors had one more chance before the break, but Ikefe Andrew failed to keep his effort low as the half ended goalless.
After the restart, MFM continued from where they stopped, in total control of proceedings at the half full Agege stadium.
However, it was not long before MFM were rewarded as they finally broke the deadlock when Alebiosu headed into the wrong net to put them 1-0 ahead.
Two minutes later, MFM came calling again, this time through Elijah but his shot was easily saved by the visiting goalkeeper.
With time running out, Ilechukwu made his first substitution of the game, Adeniji replaced Elijah and within two minutes of coming on, the youngster repaid his manager’s trust.
A loose cross from the right wing found the forward free in the United box and he made no mistakes from close range to head past the helpless Okoli in goal for Abubakar Bala’s side.
MFM held on for their first win of the season, and a deserved one in front of their home fans.
Up next for MFM, they are on the road as they make the trip to Makurdi to face champions, Lobi Stars, while Kwara United will host the giants from Aba, Enyimba International in Ilorin at the weekend.