NPFL: Relegation-threatened Heartland FC hamper Rivers United’s title hope

Oladimeji Adeoye

Oladimeji Adeoye

In its 28th game of the season, Rivers United was denied a 10 points lead ahead of close rival Plateau United by relegation side, Heartland FC at Owerri, Imo State. Rivers have shown resilience this season with their resplendent performance. The pride of Rivers has lost only four of their twenty-eight games this season, they have won seventeen and maintained seven draws.

Ishaq Kayode, the season’s top scorer with 14 goals, and Chiojioke Akuneto who also has netted 11 times this season could not rescue their sinking club at the Anyiam Stadium, Owerri. Coach Stanley resorted to five changes yet without a positive turn for his boys.

After Nwadu Chukwudi’s penalty miss for Heartland, Sunday Chinedu and Mboama Chijioke scored for the home side in the 54 and 61 minutes of the encounter. Coach Stanley knowing his side needs to revive the game, subbed off Kayode Ishaq and Chijioke Akuneto for Ohawuma and Olutunbosun Sirkiru immediately after conceding the second goal.

The massive three points acquired by Heartland mean they have moved out from the relegation area to 16th position on 31 points. Rivers United is still 7 points clear of close rival Plateau United, who is yet to play their game at hand.

Other games that took place were between Enyimba who won at home against Lobi Stars by 2-1 at Aba. NNL champions Niger Tornadoes despite being a man down defeated Gombe United at the Ahamadu Bello way Stadium, Kaduna.

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