Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ABS, FC of Ilorin defeated Heartland Football club of Owerri 2-1 in a crucial NPL week 33 match at the Kwara stadium on Sunday.
The home team were deep at the bottom of the table before grabbing the result, which moved them to the middle of the table.
The early minutes of the tie was contested for amidst hard tackles, but no goal was scored until the 15th minute when injured Abdulrahman Bashir netted ABS’ first goal. He grabbed the superb goal via a pullout from Ibrahim Abdullahi.
Both teams struggled for ball possession from then on, but the home boys had more time and space to knock the ball around.
ABS were close to increasing the tally when Heartland raised their game to get an equaliser in the 21st minute. Heartland midfielders exchanged passes before Emeka Ogbu grabbed a pass and unleashed a back breaker to make the scoreline 1-1.
The match, played behind close doors due to NPL’s ban on Kwara Stadium, livedp up to its status, while ABS’ Ahmed Bashir is the only casualty, as he suffered a head injury in a collision.
That was when Heartland’s Akor Isa and Folly Osas tried to beat goalkeeper Abdullahi Boje, but he came back to continue the tie with his head bandaged.
ABS scored their second goal in the half through Thomas Zenke, and they maintained the scoreline till end of the second half.
Heartland made two quick changes, Akor Isa came out, while Odeche Ebere came in for Uchenna Orisakwe, but the Owerri side failed to change the result.