By Ahmad Elnafaty

Chijioke Alaekwe and Abba Umar scored a goal each as Gombe United ran out 2-0 winners over Heartland at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe in one of Sunday’s Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) matches.

Umar scored Gombe United’s quickest-ever NPFL goal to help set up a comfortable victory over a blunt Heartland side as the Savannah Scorpions pull further from the drop zone while visitors fell to the basement of the standings.

The midfielder found the net after just 26 seconds as Heartland were caught trying to play out from the back. The goal is the fifth fastest in NPFL history and the first that Gombe United have scored in the opening minute of a league match.

The hosts’ evening was made worse by a first-half injury to Bashiru Monsuru, who looked set to miss more game time with a hamstring problem. But the lack of end product from the likes of Mustapha Jibrin at the other end of the pitch remained just as big an issue.

The second goal for Gombe United arrived in the 57th minute. It was Emeka Isaac’s pass out from the back intercepted by Clement and Matthias Samuel played through to Alaekwe who coolly angled beyond Heartland goalkeeper for his second goal of the term.

With the result almost already assured, Gombe United head coach Mohammed Baba Ganaru introduced fresh legs by substituting both of his goalscorers Umar and Alaekwe with Taiye Yusuf and Ahmed Jimoh respectively.

The win takes Gombe United into 14th place and two points clear off the drop zone. They travel to Akure for their next match against Sunshine Stars while Heartland play hosts to Akwa United.

David NPFL
December 10, 2023
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