Heartland 2-0 Enyimba: Elephants suffer loss in Owerri
Enyimba Football Club could not sustain their perfect start to the Nigeria Professional Football League season as they lost 0-2 to Heartland FC at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Shedrach Oghali and Adachi Emmanuel scored in both halves to puncture Enyimba’s hope of extending their impeccability further into the campaign.
Fatai Osho’s start list saw the return of captain Austin Oladapo and Dare Olatunji after the duo returned from short injury layoffs. Sadiq Abubakar also returned to the start list as Nabil Yarou, Stanley Okorom and Cyril Olisema kept their places.
In a frenetic opening, Samad Kadiri dribbled into the box but was choked up before he could send in a delivery, while Chizoba Amaefule caused problems at the other end with long deliveries of throw-ins.
Heartland leaped in front just after the half-hour as Oghali rose highest to lob a header from Benjamin Francis’ freekick past a wrongly positioned Olufemi Kayode.
With halftime approaching, Enyimba thought they deserved a penalty when Abubuakar’s cut back was blocked by a raised arm, but the referee judged it a legal play.
Adach Emmanuel doubled Heartland’s lead eight minutes after the restart as he fought past Nabil Yarou to receive a long ball and blast past substitute goalkeeper Bassa Djeri.
Fatai Osho sent on Anayo Iwuala and Tosin Omoyele in a desperate move to salvage the game, and the latter came close to pulling one back for Enyimba with a late header that went inches wide.