Heartland Football Club of Owerri edged Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club of Lagos 1-0 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Match Day 7 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) tie on sunday evening.
It wasn’t the result the Olukoya Boys wanted, but they will take it in good faith after suffering a one nil defeat in the hands of the Naze Millionaires’ courtesy of a 31st minute goal by Fortune Omoniwari.
Both teams started the game very lively as they entertained their fans with good artistry of the round leather game.
Julius Ubido of Heartland missed a good scoring chance in the 9th minute of the encounter, MFM FC responded with defender Stanley Okorom’s effort hitting the woodwork.
The Lagos-based side gave the visitors a run for their money in the midfield with the quartet of Oladele Oshobe, Atu lrumekhai, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Onuwa Chukwuka asserting their authority over the homer’s.
Heartland soaked the pressure from Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men and controlled the game for a few minutes, MFM stand-in captain, Austine Opara cleared a whipped in corner kick.
Omoniwari however scored the only goal of the day with a flick header that beat goalkeeper James Aiyeyemi off an assist from Ajoku. The first 45 minutes ended with the home team maintaining a one goal lead.
The second 45 minutes resumed with MFM FC dominating possession and dictating the pace of the match as they forced the hosts to a defensive play.
Ifeanyi was booked for the first yellow card of the day in the 57th minute for a foul.
In his quest to get a result from Owerri, coach Ilechukwu introduced former Heartland FC goal poacher, Isah Akor for petit midfielder, Onuwa while Newman Musa was substituted for Festus Ajah. Meanwhile, Oshobe received the second yellow card of the game and was replaced in the 82nd minute by team captain, Kenedium Nelson.
Akor and Favour troubled Heartland defence and kept their defenders at bay. NPFL debutant, Austine Ogunye gave good account of himself with two shots on target in the second half.
MFM FC won a free kick 30 yards from goal in stoppage time after a bad challenge on Akor. Heartland FC defenders stood their grounds and blocked Ifeanyi’s well taken free kick in the dying minutes of the entertaining encounter.
The nervy encounter ended with Heartland defeating the highly spirited MFM FC 1-0.
The Olukoya Boys sit on second spot on the league table with 13 points from 7 NPFL matches. MFM FC’s next game comes in three days when they host Kano Pillars at the Agege Stadium on Wednesday.