Heartland Strike At Warri Wolves’ Title Chase

A beautifully crafted 67th minute free kick from Emeka Ogbugh was sufficient for Heartland FC to see off title contenders, Warri Wolves in a fiercely contested Match Day 34 fixture at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.

The home side were apparently aware that victory on the day will see them setting up a possible continental chase but left Collins Nwaneri and Nnaemeka Uzouama on the bench as Kelechi Emeteole handed a second successive home start for in-form striker, Happy Okuoka.

Wolves Coach, Paul Aigbogun, left Super Eagles fringe goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, out of the squad, but there were slots in the start line-up for Gbolahan Salami and Azubuike Egwuekwe who both missed the side’s last two encounters as a result of international engagement. It was the home side that got the game underway and instantly forced Egwuekwe to make two successive clearance inside the opening five minutes to keep his side in tone.

Minutes later visiting goalkeeper, Okiemute Odah made a super save from Bobby Clement’s goal bound header. The striker was close to opening proceedings, but for Joseph Eyimofe’s quick intervention inside the area.

The atmosphere became tensed as both sides closed down the spaces. The visitors with their first real sight on goal in the 27th minute almost made it count, Oghenakaro Etebo’s volley from 20 yards scrapped inches off the woodwork.

At the half hour mark, newly crowned Wonder goal king, Freedom Omofoman raced down the right and skipped past three defenders, only for his weak cross to be amazingly gathered by Ebele Obi.

Minutes to wrap up the first period, Okuoka failed to turk home a sitter from six yards courtesy of some brilliance from Jolly Osas.

The second half began with some moments of relief for the visitors as Egwuekwe and ThankGod Ike combined perfectly to shut down Bobby Clement and Emeka Ogbugh, despite numerous advances from the home side.

At the hour mark, defender Zoumana Doumbia surged forward to exchange passes with Okuoka and the move almost paid off as Ogbugh was sent clear from 25 yards. The striker could not go past Ike ThankGod.


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