FC Ifeanyiubah continue dominance of Heartland, win 2-0 in Nnewi
By Fred Edoreh
FC IfeanyiUbah (FCIU) got the better part of their rivals Heartland FC, defeating them 2-0 despite the visitors striking the woodwork twice in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 8 fixture at the FC Ifeanyiubah Stadium, Nnewi, on Sunday.
Both teams looked well squared into the game, recording six shots on target in the first 10 minutes after FC Ifeanyiubah’s first minute offensive led by Ekene Awazie and Seka Pascal Pascal ended in wasted corner kick and Patrick Ikeokwu’s 4th minute close range effort saved by Japhet Opubo, in goal for Heartland.
The Naze Millionaires ruffled feathers after 22 minutes when they gained a fast break with Bamba Drissa left at the mercy of Nnamdi Egbujor but his strike went straight to the woodwork.
Rattled by the incident, FC Ifeanyiubah stepped harder on the pedal and Heartland’s miss became FC Ifeanyiubah’s gain as Awazie took his chance just two minutes from Seka’s pass to put the hosts up.
On a day that ill-luck would best define Heartland’s fortune, Fuad Ekelojuoti would arrive early in a scramble only to see his attempt hit the bar in the 37th minute, and Chukwudi Oparaugo’s point blank strike in the 41st minute would again be blocked away by Bamba Drissa to keep FC Ifeanyiubah’s advantage intact into the break.
At the resumption of play, Heartland pressed for all chances but it wasn’t too long before Seka Pascal put the stake above them to define the day as he coolly struck home from interplays with Awazie and Bright Onyedikachi, giving FC Ifeanyiubah the assurance goal that settled proceedings.
Efforts by Oparaugo with several shots on target came to naught as Bamba stood solid between the sticks.
In a game that produced plenty hair-splitting moments, it was no surprise that it also produced as much as five yellow cards and frantic substitutions as Heartland struggled to break the hosts who blocked all leakages in the second half to ensure maximum point.