MFM FC title dreams hinge on Enyimba clash

LMC Media

Nigeria's domestic league title race hangs by a three-point thread or, to be more accurate, a three-point thread and a difference of 23 goals in favour of Plateau United.

It is a measure of how close the race has been -- despite United opening up a five-point gap on occasion - that this could be a pivotal weekend in the run-in.

MFM FC, who have been the only club to mount anything resembling a serious challenge to Plateau United, have a chance to close up one of those gaps this weekend...or to lose it all, and essentially hand Plateau United the title next weekend.

Trailing by three points going into last weekend's round of matches, MFM were staring down the barrel.

A loss at Remo Stars would have seen them drop six points behind the leaders, who were home to relegation strugglers 3SC.

Instead, they showed grit, overcoming the setback of seeing league top scorer Stephen Odey fail to convert a twice-taken penalty before his replacement Austin Ogunye scored perhaps the most important goal of his career so far to hand the Church Boys a potentially title-saving win.

Things won't get any easier, and the value of last weekend's win could be proved when they face heavyweights Enyimba this weekend.

While MFM have an ominous bout ahead of them, things won't be any easier for Plateau United, who face Kano Pillars in one of the toughest away fixtures in the division.

The simple part of the math is fairly straightforward.

If MFM win, and Plateau lose, the gap closes and United would stay top only by virtue of their 23-goal superiority. MFM would make a dent in it, but not reasonably enough to overtake the leaders this weekend.

The race then takes decisive turn next matchday when MFM travel to Plateau United for a game that, to all intents and purposes, would decide the destination of the title.

Win, and MFM would overhaul Plateau and take a three point-lead at the top.

Lose, and Plateau establish their three-point advantage, with all manner of permutations still left to contemplate in the remaining games.

It would not be a debilitating blow to MFM, as despite their poor away record this term, the remainder of their road games include trips to strugglers such as Abia Warriors. This, in combination with a succession of relatively straightforward home games, could see them remain in contention.

Their other away game is all but un-winnable.

El-Kanemi Warriors have only dropped points once at home this season, and if MFM want to win the title, they'd best do it before that final day of the season when they travel to face the Warriors in Maiduguri.

However, if MFM were to drop points against Enyimba, their title dreams could begin to unravel pretty quickly.

Even if Plateau were to lose in Kano, they would still be two points behind and would now definitely need to win that game in Jos to have any hopes of laying their hands on that trophy.

There's little doubt that this weekend's showdown with Enyimba is a high-pressure affair for MFM FC as they continue their remarkable rise to prominence. The fact that this game marks the return of live broadcasts of NPFL matches should only up the ante.

No pressure, then.



v Kano Pillars (a)

vs. MFM (h)

vs. ABS (a)

vs. Rivers United (h)

vs. Wikki Tourists (a)

vs. Rangers (h)


vs. Enyimba (h)

vs. Plateau (a)

vs. Gombe United (h)

vs. Abia Warriors (a)

vs. Nasarawa (h)

vs. El-Kanemi Warriors (a)