Samad condemns Heartland to second home defeat

By Sab Osuji

Lobi Stars striker, Samad Kadiri picked his composure, expertise and target on 25 minutes to rifle home beyond Heartland goalkeeper Ebele Obi as the Makurdi side returned home with the maximum points in Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match inside the FC Ifeanyiubah Stadium, Nnewi.

Two red cards, one on each side, also climaxed the evening’s clash on Heartland’s first fixture at their transit home ground.

The result meant Lobi Stars have won twice on the road this term, following an earlier 2-1 triumph at Rangers. Similarly, Sunday’s heart-breaking defeat turned out to be Heartland’s second home loss in 11 NPFL games this term, having earlier surrendered all three points to Rangers in an Oriental Derby on Matchday 3.

Samad’s goal, his fifth of the season, came in a most briliant fashion, coming on the end of a one-two play with Aliassou Sanou who cut the ball back inside the area for him to stab home. That was at exactly 25 minutes into the game.

Heartland, playing their first game at their transit home ground, were tepid from start to finish, with wrong passes, wrong positioning and in most cases indecisions climaxing their game. This allowed Lobi Stars settle in right into the mood of things with Chinda Kaka, Sunday Akleche, Austine Ogunye and Sanou piecing passes together time and again in an almost unhindered fashion, presenting much work for Heartland’s backline comprising of debutant Nwokeji Emmanuel, Ahueke Odinaka, Ikwugbado Kenneth and Obioha MacMarcel to do.

Holding tight to their first half advantage, Lobi Stars came back into the second period altering their tactics, holding onto the ball and denying the hosts opportunity to draw level. Their counterattacking option almost resulted in doubling their lead when Sanou fired from distance which goalkeeper Obi had to go down well and timely too to gather.

Heartland’s efforts at drawing level were always spearheaded by Fuad Ekelojuoti whose control, dribbles, speed and vision were a beauty to behold. But his sending off late on put paid to Naze Millionaires attempt to get sonething out of the game. Ekelojuoti who had earlier on been given a yellow card later got the marching order late on. But the numerical equation was soon after balanced when defender Ekene Olisema also got sent off.

Heartland head coach Ramson Madu cast a picture of an orphan whose piece of beancake had been snatched by a vicious looking bully. Looking into the crowd but obviously seeing nothing as npfl.ng accosted him after the final whistle.

“We were hard done by injury. Emmanuel Nwokeji’s injury which forced us into defensive changes affected us. We needed to bring in attackers or even midfielders but when you are forced to bring in defenders, then it is obvious there are high mountains to climb,” Madu managed to explain as he also took a swipe at luck which he said was cruelly against his side.

“In all of this, I would say luck was not on our side. We had several opportunities to at least tie the game but then the ball refused to go in. Don’t forget too the red card to Fuad. If he had concluded the game, given his pace and skill, who knows, things would have a bit different.”

Results

Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
Heartland F.C000Loss
Lobi Stars F.C101Win

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTO GALLERY

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