Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heartland win first title in 18 years

Heartland emerged champions of the Federation Cup at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Sunday.

It was their first domestic title since 1993 when they won the league as Iwuanyanwu Nationale.

The Naze Millionaire defeated Enyimba 1-0 to be crowned as Nigeria's new cup kings.

Heartland named a starting 11 without defender Chibuzor Okonkwo. The right-back did not recover from a thigh injury.

The trio of Samuel Tswanya, David Tyavkase and Peter Onoja started from the bench in this game.

With so much at stake, it was not a surprise to see both sides start tentatively with fouls from both sides putting paid to any sort of free-flowing football.

Heartland were the quicker of the two sides to get into their stride and after missing a few gilt edged opportunities, the Naze Millionaires eventually took the lead, five minutes before the break.

Captain, Chinedu Efugh reacted quickest after Enyimba keeper, Paul Godwin failed to hold a fierce header from Julius Ubido. The defender poked the ball into the net to give Heartland a deserved lead which they tenaciously held on to till the end.

Enyimba improved after the break but lacked the conviction to hurl themselves back into the contest.

Ifeanyi Ede was the worst culprit for the Aba millionaires as his miss, when left unmarked inside the box late on represented the last clear cut opportunity for Enyimba.

Enyimba were also losing finalists in last year’s Federation Cup while Heartland last tasted success in the competition in 1988.

-Culled from

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