Heartland FC of Owerri claimed their first win of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season after beating Bendel Insurance on Wednesday, www.aclsports.com reports.
The basement side played hosts to the 2023 Federation Cup champions at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on match day 12 and made use of the opportunity to take their first full points of the season.
New head coach Kennedy Boboye, after leading his side to a first clean sheet in Ibadan on Sunday, led his Heartland side to a second clean sheet and a first win courtesy Austine Osayande’s early second half goal.
In Kano, Pillars defeated 2021 league Champions Akwa United 1-0 to compound the woes of coach Fatai Osho whose reign has not gone according to plan. Mohammed Umar’s early goal propelled Sai Masu Gida into the top four region on the league standings.
Goalkeeper Osayi Kingdom and Doma United continued their strong run in the league as they held Kwara United to a goalless draw at the Ilorin Township Stadium. By virtue of the result, Kingdom kept his seventh consecutive clean sheet of the season.
In the South-West derby in Akure, Sunshine Stars defeated Shooting Stars 1-0 courtesy of Moses Omoduemuke’s 72nd minute strike. Meanwhile, Remo Stars picked another point on the road after a goalless draw with Niger Tornadoes in Kaduna.
Naibe Akpesiri’s first-half goal for Sporting Lagos was cancelled out by Abia Warriors’ Pascal Nwabueze’s late goal as the two teams settled for a share of the spoils.
Sunday Chinedu’s first half goal was all Lobi Stars needed to beat Gombe United in Lafia as they stayed joint top with Remo Stars.
Meanwhile, former Heartland coach Fidelis Ilechukwu’s return to Jos was not a pleasant one as Rangers conceded a late goal as Plateau United win 2-1 against the Flying Antelopes. Moses Adikwu scored first for the home side before Chidiebere Nwobodo equalized for the visitors. However, Olawale Doyeni netted a late winner against his former side to hand the Peace Boys all three points.
Match Day 12 Results in full:
Abia Warriors 1-1 Sporting Lagos
Sunshine Stars 1-0 Shooting Stars
Heartland 1-0 Bendel Insurance
Lobi Stars 1-0 Gombe United
Kano Pillars 1-0 Akwa United
Kwara United 0-0 Doma United
Plateau United 2-1 Rangers
Niger Tornadoes 0-0 Remo Stars