NPFL: Warriors down Heartland in Umuahia

Abia Warriors coach Kennedy Boboye has praised the resilience his side showed has they defeated Heartland by a slim 1-0 victory at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday.

NPFL: Warriors down Heartland in Umuahia
Abia Warriors defeated Heartland FC in the NPFL Matchday 23 at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Sunday.

The Ocendo babes drew first blood in the 28th minute of the encounter when Uche Ihuarulam took advantage of an uncleared ball in the heart of the Heartland defense.  From that moment, it was a ding dong affair as Heartland sought to draw level but the Warriors were determined to do the double over their neighbours.

“We expected a tough match and that’s exactly what we got. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task but the players had belief and they were determined to keep the scoreline as it was” Boboye said in his post match reaction.

“I’m happy because today we showed resilience despite the pressure that Heartland piled on us especially during the last five minutes of the game”

Boboye’s men have jumped to 7th on the log courtesy of the deserved victory and it would be a needed boost as they face mighty Enyimba next Wednesday in an outstanding game.

Heartland meanwhile continues its poor run of form as they slumped again and will find themselves in the bottom three. An unsavory sight to many of the teeming fans. Heartland is just one of only two clubs who have never been relegated from the top flight but recent results may change the course of history.

The Naze Millionaires are also the only team yet to win any of their games in Oriental Derbies this term and the result on Sunday further shows how deep the team is troubled.

The match wasn’t all about Warriors as Heartland gave their best most especially in the second half of the match. Just on the stroke of half time, Heartland's Koffi Roland watched on as his free kick crashed off the woodwork. Perhaps Chinedu Efugh should have drawn level towards the end of the match but no matter what Heartland did, it was as if they have been destined to lose in Umuahia.

Heartland is the only team yet to win any of its matches in the oriental derby this season and once again, their defeat to Warriors shows how poor result has been this term. Results on the road have been nothing to write home about with seven defeats and two at home making it a total of nine defeats this term with only five wins.

No doubt if Heartland who is one of two teams never to have been relegated from the topflight is to save their season, Coach Alphonsus Dike must urgently seek to find the solution to the problems bedeviling the squad.