HEARTLAND FC on Wednesday, December 6, ended their 11-match winless streak as they defeated Bendel Insurance, 1-0 in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Matchday 12 fixture at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.
The ICIR reported how the team’s poor performance since their return from the Nigeria National League (NNL) to the country’s top-flight league had ignited worries, leading to the appointment of a new coach, Kennedy Boboye.
Despite the confidence reposed in Boboye’s coaching prowess to salvage the club from the murky water of relegation, the club lost 0-1 to an arch-rival Enyimba FC at home, picked an away point against Shooting Stars before securing a maximum of three points against Bendel Insurance.
The hope of securing the maximum three points came in the 51st minute after Austine Osayande benefitted from Divine Ukadike’s corner kick and lashed the ball into the net from close range.
In an attempt not to suffer recurring setbacks of always leading but lacking the courage to end matches in victory, Boboye introduced the trio of Ifeanyi Anyawu, Christian Weli, Onyekachi Okafor to replace Ezekiel Bassey, George Jenom, Kingsely Arum in the 66 minutes.
Their introduction paid off as the players helped to contain a recurring comeback of opponents, as witnessed in the club’s matches against Bayelsa United, which ended 2-2 in matchday eight, and Sporting Lagos, which ended 1-1 in matchday nine fixture.
Bendel Insurance could not compound their host’s woes despite the return of the club’s Tamara Ezekiel and Paul Obata in the starting eleven.
Heartland FC’s victory against Bendel Insurance helped them move from 20th to 19th position on the log. They have five more matches before ending the first half of the season.