Two struggling sides in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Abia Warriors and Heartland FC enjoyed crucial wins in the televised double header matches decided on Monday at the Okigwe Township Stadium.
Both teams were in the bottom five of the league log before the day’s play began but they recorded wins that have bettered their placements on the log at least until the next match day.
Abia Warriors, coached by under fire head coach Imama Amapakabo showed a great strength of character in their 1-0 win over Rangers International in an Oriental Derby; the day’s second game.
Warriors scored the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute through a wonder strike by Paul Samson. Samson collected the ball 25 metres to goal, set himself up nicely before curling a belter into the roof of Olufemi Thomas’ net.
FT: Abia Warriors 1-0 Rangers— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) February 15, 2021
Ten-man Abia Warriors climb up two places on the log courtesy of Paul Samson's brilliant first half strike. They played about 30 minutes of the second half one man short after Daniel Wotlai was sent off for a second booking. #ABIRAN
The goal 👇 pic.twitter.com/huGMCqL9HC
The resolve of the Umuahia based Abia Warriors who now play their home games in Okigwe was tested in the second half after defensive midfielder Daniel Wotlai was sent off just before the hour mark. They however held on for the priceless points.
In the day’s earlier game, Heartland FC defeated Lobi Stars 2-0 in a game the Naze Millionaires thoroughly deserved to win.
Right back Chidera Eze set Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men on their way to victory after curling home a free kick which flew past goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko in the 38th minute. Samuel Nnoshiri headed home a corner kick in the 58th minute to seal the win over Kabiru Dogo’s Lobi Stars.
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FT: Heartland 2-0 Lobi Stars— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) February 15, 2021
Goals by Chidera Eze and Samuel Nnoshiri give the Naze Millionaires maximum points against a listless Lobi side in Okigwe. #HEALOB
Monday’s win propelled Heartland to 12th position on the log while Abia Warriors climbed two places to 17th.