By Tunde Liadi

Enyimba head coach, Finidi George praised his players for the way they approached the game from start to finish and he further commended them for remaining consistent throughout the game.

He said the People’s Elephant didn’t start the season in great shape but that they have started getting their rhythms and can only improve in subsequent games.

“We came to Owerri with a game plan and I must praise my players for executing it to the letter. We came to a difficult ground and we succeeded to claim the three points,” George told

“We had a bad start to the season but we have started to get our bearing. Things can only improve for us.”

Heartland assistant coach, Charles Uzor who stood in for the Technical Adviser, Kennedy Boboye said even though they lost the game, the Owerri side has an improved game and that it was unfortunate they conceded the goal the way they did.

He affirmed that the Naze Millionaires would play better in subsequent games and would get the results that will gladden their fans.

“It was a tough game but you will agree with me that Heartland FC played a good game and were more compact than in previous games,” Uzor told NPFL.NG.Com

“We will go back and look at what we did wrong. We just want to assure our fans that things will improve but they must believe in us to get things right even if it takes some time.”

Enyimba banished the bad memories of their previous encounters with neighbours, Heartland FC on Saturday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri with a 1-0 win in the NPFL Matchday 10 tie.

Stephen Chukwude who was subbed on in the 80th minute headed home the game’s only goal two minutes later off a corner kick to help the People’s Elephant secure their first win over the Naze Millionaires in the league since 2015.

It was the visitors that began the game with more purpose and they had several chances to open the scores in the first half which they frittered.

Heartland FC with a new coach at the helm, Kennedy Boboye making his managerial debut for the club gave the Owerri side something to cheer about with the way the team played. They approached the game with more cohesion and more intensity but the lack of potent striker still persisted with their inability to convert the few chances they had.

Enyimba could have opened the scoreline in the 11th minute through former Heartland FC attacker, Chijioke Mbaoma but the hitman inexplicably missed a sitter. He failed to tap in from close range after he met a cross from Nnachi Chidiebere.

Heartland FC goalkeeper, Chisom Chiaha had to come out of the 18 yards box for a timely interception to foil another dangerous Enyimba attacking move in the 15th minute.

It was not until the 30th minute that Heartland FC had their first real chance through Onyekachi Okafor who shot rattled the woodwork with Enyimba goalie, Ani Ozoemena already stranded.

The home team had another golden chance to score in the 52nd minute. Umar Johnson with a great pass to Davine Ukadike but the midfielder’s shot went off target with only the net at his mercy. It was the closest chance the Naze Millionaires had to score.

With barely 10 minutes before the end of the encounter, Enyimba coach, Finidi George brought on Chukwude as a replacement for Innocent Gabriel. The attacker got the only goal of the game two minutes later after he nodded home from close range off a corner kick.

Heartland tried desperately to get the equaliser thereafter but the reigning champions, Enyimba proved to be the better side on the day as they held on to the lone goal for the Owerri side’s first home loss of the season.

David NPFL
November 25, 2023
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