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Champions League: Heartland survive heartbreak

By Tony Ubani & Patrick Omorodion, Owerri

Heartland scrapped through  into the third round of the CAF Champions League, after a pulsating 1-1 draw against Tiko United of Cameroon  yesterday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri.

The visitors drew the first blood in the 32nd minute, after Jondane Joel poked in the ball during a goal mouth melee. The goal came after a death scare when a Tiko United defender collapsed and went into a fit.  Thankfully, he was revived and the game continued.

The Cameroonians held on to their slim lead, soaking up the pressure from Heartland. On resumption the Owerri lads pushed on, but failed to find the breakthrough until the dying minutes when Emmanuel Omodiagbe popped up and scrambled in the equalizer much to the relief of Heartland fans who had given up hope of seeing their team in the next round of the Champions League.
Heartland and Tiko played a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Yaounde and are alive on away goal advantage.
Meanwhile, in the CAF Confed Cup, Enyimba overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to still advance to the next stage of the competition after thumping Academicals of Angola 3-0 yesterday at the Aba International Stadium.

They are joined in the next round by another Nigerian campaigner, Wolves of Warri, who despite losing 2-0 to Zesco of Zambia in Kitwe, still made it, courtesy of the 3-0 win they had recorded, in the first leg held a fortnight back in Warri.
And speaking after the match, Delta State FA Chairman, Pinnick Amaju, attributed the team’s defeat to poor officiating.

“We did not deserve to lose that way but poor officiating gave Zesco a better advantage. But I am still thankful that we qualified for the next round of the competition and hope that my players should bounce back strongly in subsequent games”, Amaju said.


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