Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club (MFM FC) for the first time in her history secured a spot in the 2018 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League after a 2-0 victory over Nasarawa United inside the Soccer temple of the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
Man of the match, Stanley Okorom scored a superb free kick to give the Olukoya boys the lead in the 13th minute and also provided an inch perfect cross for Tchato Giscard who nodded the ball past the Nasarawa United keeper in goal to ensure that the Lagos-based team returned continental football to Lagos state after a 13 year absence.
The CAF Champions League qualification comes as a massive leap for the club who barely survived relegation during their debut season in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) last year. Speaking to aclsports on the feat was MFM FC Sports Director, Godwin Enakhena ‘It was electrifying, it was something to celebrate. This is because for over a decade we’ve not had continental football in Lagos; also that it’s coming 2 years after Premier League football returned to Lagos makes it double celebration and it is something that we look forward to.’
Talking about what is expected of the boys in the competition next year he said: ‘For the boys, it’s something they look forward to and having played in the league for 2 seasons, they have gained some experience but along the line, the team has to be fortified so that they will give a credible performance on the continent as it were.’
- Advertisement -
Asides Champions League qualification, the win against Nasarawa United perfectly positions MFM FC for an unprecedented final push for the league title after league leaders, Plateau United passed up an opportunity to seal the title by losing to relegation battlers, Wikki Tourists.
‘Ultimately, I’ve always said it is one step at a time. Last season, our ambition was to finish in the top 10 but we struggled to survive after celebrating the fact that we were top of the league early on; so we learnt useful lessons like not celebrating until it is completely over,’ Godwin said when asked about the possibility of winning the league. ‘No team has gone to Maiduguri to win. Can MFM win in Maiduguri? Yes, it is possible but let’s see how it goes. We have won the league as far as MFM is concerned by coming second, but words fail me to describe how winning the league would be. However, anything is possible because this is football and it is not over until it is completely over. So let’s see how it goes,’ he added.
Plateau United however remain in the driving seat with a point above MFM FC and an home game against Rangers United who seemingly have nothing to fight for. MFM FC will however need all three points away to El-Kanemi Warriors and hope that Plateau United do not win their match to do the unthinkable.
Although the club would be thinking of the unthinkable i.e winning the league triumph on the final day, the fans and sports authorities are however buzzing at the news of Champions League football in Lagos next season; with congratulatory messages pouring in from all quarters.
The Lagos State Sports Commission led the congratulatory messages by tweeting: ‘CONGRATULATIONS MFM FC Lagos on your CAF Champions League qualification and above all, for bringing continental football back to Lagos.’
The commission also tweeted: ‘Well done to the Barrister, Seyi Akinwunmi-led LSFA for the support given to MFM FC towards achieving the continental feat within two years.’
Special Adviser on Sports to the Lagos state Governor, Deji Tinubu then tweeted: ‘Congratulations MFM FC, proud of you!! CAF Champions League in Lagos next season!! And yes, big big congratulations to the Lagos FA!!’
A fan who was excited about the news did tweet: ‘After two years in the Nigerian top flight, MFM FC booked CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ticket. It can only be God.’