It was an NPFL matchday 17 fixture at the ElKanemi Warriors Sports Center where a win was very crucial for both sides that share neighbourhood in the bottom three of the log.
It took the second half brace from Ghanaian import, Anthony Yeful to make victory certain after Bello Kofarmata had scored a first half penalty for the Desert Warriors to earn their first full points in three matches. The outcome was no comfort for the Naze Millionaires who have picked just one point from their last three outings.
El-Kanemi started the match with intent but was undone by poor marksmanship. First was Bello who had latched onto a freekick on the 14th minute but failed to beat goalkeeper Japhet Opubo.
The home side, after toiling for a while, hit goldmine when Alexander Kouakou handled the ball in the box under pressure and Bello Kofarmata stepped forward to beat Opubo with a low ball to his left. Kofarmata had two chances to double his tally but the keeper tipped one onto the bar, while the other was blocked for a corner.
The visiting side fought back gallantly with Okoro Ndukwe and Moses Akinade becoming a handfull for the Warriors but they couldn’t make their efforts to count.
In the second half, the home side secured the win with Yeful two goals that started when he latched onto a pass by Sunday Anthony to volley into the net. He would strike again 25 minutes later, connecting a pass from substitute, Ocheme Edoh.
Coach of the home side, Imama Amakapabo said the team planned and worked for the victory.
“We needed the three points and we knew that it was going to be tricky, dicey. We planned for it and waited for the deep run to goal from our midfielders. We have our problems in the attack but we are working to fix it once the transfer window opens”, Imams told www.npfl.ng
For visiting Coach Ezekiel Onyegbulem, the team were undone by inexperience and he said they too are looking to the midseason transfer window to beef up the team.
“We didn’t get it right due to a lot of factors, we tried to get a result from the match but our players were not impressive. Once the window open we will inject lots of experienced players, Heartland will not relegate, we will turn things around.
El Kanemi Warriors FC
2 Japhet Opubo, 31 Onyewuchi Onyechefula, 29 Adebayo Ayinla, 21 Odera Onyiri, 14 Kenneth Igwugbado, 11 Obioh Marmarcel, 5 Fuad Ekelojuoti, 27 Nnamdi Egbujuo, 9 Moses Akinade, 35 Okoro Ndukwe, 13 Alexander Kouakou
18 Ebele Obi, 23 Uche Odeh, 32 Joseph Mbalewe, 34 Thompson Abiodun, 28 Odinaka Ahiakwe, 17 Chimankpa Onwubuchi, 22 Francis Mohmoh
Technical Adviser; Mehmet Tayfun Turkmen
Anthony Yeful of El Kanemi Warriors emerged Man of the match
Cautions: ElKanemi’s Razak Aliyu bagged yellow card for misconduct.
Match Statistics: Shots 8/3 (shots on target 4/1 ), corners 4/1 , fouls 10/9, free kicks 12/13, offsides 3/3, saves 0/2, yellow cards 1/0 , red cards 0/0, penalties 1/0 , goals 3/0
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