Heartland Football Club of Owerri on Wednesday were held to a 1 – 1 draw by Kano Pillars football club in a week 28 NPL game played at Dan Anyiam stadium.
The Naze Millionaires got their noses in front in the 31st minute of play after Pillars Keeper Sam Haliru could not hold Ikechukwu Ibenegbu’s short and allowed Kabiru Umar register his sixth goal of the season in the league.
At that moment, Heartland were in total control of the game inspight of the rain, creating scoring opportunities but could not put away the chances to secure the assurance goal.
The Owerri side paid dearly for the near misses when Pillars Mustapha Musa forced an equalizer at the 86th minute, off a goal mouth scramble when Daniel Akpeyi could not deal with an areal ball inside the penalty area from a suspicious freekick awarded by the centre referee.
Expressing his feelings after the match, Coach Ndubuisi Nduka of Heartland was very disappointed with the Centre referees’s questionable calls during the match and the in – ability of his lads to utilize the opportunities they created in the game.
Meanwhile Pillars coach Baba Ganaru who was recently promoted to the post of the Head coach was highly elated with the good job his boys did, stating that their game plan was based on soaking the pressure and countering against their opponent. And from the look of things, it paid off very well.
With this result, Pillars now have 5 points from 32 games placing second on the log behind Rangers who now has 52 points. Heartland on their past has 45 points from 30 games and still has the opportunity of redeeming themselves when they take on Sunshine Stars this Saturday or Sunday at Dan Anyiam, Owerri.
It would be recalled that Heartland also did hold Knao Pillars to the same score line in their first meeting this season at Sani Abacha stadium, Kano earlier this year.
The coaching crew of Nduka, Madu and Obi would be hoping to have back the services of Osas Okoro, Brendan Ogbu, Bello Kofarmata, Jolly Osas and Chijioke Ejiogu from various types of injuries to execute their remaining games.