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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Heartland of Owerri today at the Okigwe township stadium sent its fans and Management into wild jubilation as the Naze millionaires humbled visiting team Abia Warriors in one of the Match Day 14 fixture of the 2019/2020 NPFL Season.
Abia Warriors are unbeaten in 9 games against Heartland in the NPFL and 10 games in all competition since the past five years and the Umuahia Warlords who bookmakers  favoured to come out victorious of the epic Oriental derby and looking foward to stretch their Five (5) years dominance over their Oriental neighbours.

The oriental derby seems to be a very huge and challenging task for Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu and his boys following Abia Warriors unbeaten derby track record against the owerri based team.
Tactics adopted by 'Working One' proved difficult for the away team and helpful, as his boys showed determination and purpose at the blast of the whistle for kick off as they took the fight to their guests in search of an early goal.

Speaking with the media after the game, Ilechukwu express joy and thumbs up for his boys for showing character and seeing possibilities despite they are still a baby team. 

" We have really prepared for this game, we know record are meant to be broken, we have never won a single game against Abia Warriors since 2014 and we know the best thing to do is get the maximum points, we respect them but we know beating them is very very possible. 

" We have our game plan that worked for us perfectly, i told my boys never to allow them play or make 1, 2, 3 passes in the midfield, we are very quick going forward and we created several scoring chances, they are indeed lucky conceding just one goal in this particular encounter, my boys really played according to tactics, crucial to our victory. 


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Heartland attacking duo of Thompson Abiodun and Obioma Chukwuemeka was handful for the Umuahia Warlords defence line as they terrorised and mesmerised the visitors backline.
On resumption after the interval, the Naze millionaires became more purposeful and determined which paid off in the 56th mins,  when rampaging Abiodun Thompson makes the difference with a brilliant goal after receiving a delicious pass from Obioma Chukwuemeka to send the fans into rapture and wild jubilation. 
It was a moment the whole Imolites have waited for a very long time, Heartland players,  Management  and the passionate fans at the Okigwe Stadium celebrated the victory at the blast of the final whistle and were happy they finally got to record a win against their Oriental brothers after 5years.


Heartland Vs Abia Warriors NPFL Head - to - Head

2014/2015 Season

Heartland 1-1 Abia Warriors - May 2014
Abia Warriors 1-1 Heartland - October 2014


2015/2016 Season

Heartland 0-1 Abia Warriors - April 2015
Abia Warriors 1-0 Heartland - August 2015

2016/2017 Season

Abia Warriors 1-0 Heartland - February 2016
Heartland 0-1 Abia Warriors - June 2016

2017/2018 Season

Heartland 0-0 Abia Warriors - April 2018

2018/2019 Season

Abia Warriors 1-0 Heartland - February 2019
Heartland 2-4 Abia Warriors - May 2019


NPFL GAMES

Heartland - Win 0
Abia Warriors - Win 6
Draw - 3

Aiteo Cup Games

Heartland - Win 0
Abia Warriors - Win 1


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