A hattrick from Chukwuemeka Obioma in the 11th, 52nd and 90th minute gave Heartland Football club of Owerri a 5-0 win over struggling Adamawa united in one of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 20 fixture played at the Okigwe stadium.
Heartland started the game on a high note with coach Fidelis Illechukwu maintaining his front line with starts for Abiodun Thompson and Chukwuemeka Obioma.
Heartland scored their first goal of the encounter early on the 5th minute after Eric Dufegha benefited from a Samuel Nnoshiri corner kick and the former Katsina United man flick found the back of the net.
Adamawa United were forced to make an early change in the 7th minute after defender Emmanuel Ogbuagu collided with his goalkeeper Victor Philemon, and couldn’t continue in the game. He was replaced by Jibrin Abubakar.
That substitution, however, did not go well for the away team, as Heartland benefited from the defensive lapses of Adamawa United.
In the 9th minute, Adamawa United almost got their equalizer from Tunde Adams who combined well with his strike partner Sadiq Lawan, but the latter’s effort inside the box was saved by Heartland goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
Heartland’s second goal came in the 11th minute from a good attacking display by the home team. Eric Dufegha’s pass found Samuel Nnoshiri who’s wasted no time in locating Chukwuemeka Obioma to score.
The day seemed perfect for Heartland, as in the 30th minute, the “Naze Millionaires” went 3-0 up. The 3rd goal was scored after the impressive Nnoshiri beat his marker, only for him to pass to Abiodun Thompson who made a run close to Adamawa United’s 18-yard box, with the former Crown Fc striker blasting the ball into the net from 20 yards.
The game went into half time with Heartland leading 3-0.
The second started with Heartland seeking more goals and in the 49th minute, Chukwuemeka Obioma was put through on goal, only for his shot to be kept in by Adamawa United Goalkeeper Victor Philemon.
Adamawa United had to find a way to reduce the goal margin, but their effort wasn’t good enough when in the 60th minute, Tunde Adam’s flick found Sadiq Lawan, whose header hit the woodwork after Heartland goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was beaten.
Heartland kept pushing for more goals, and it paid off in the 62nd minute.
Julius Emiloju combined with Emmanuel Nnamani, who in turn located Emiloju who made a run at goal only to find Obioma that made no mistake scoring his 2nd goal of the day.
At that point, it all looked wrapped up for Heartland, but there was more to come from the home team. In the 89th minute, Adamawa United Defender Jibrin Abubakar was found to have handled the ball in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.
Obioma stepped up and converted the penalty, capping off a fine display for the former Enyimba Fc striker and sending the Okigwe fans jubilating.
Up next for Heartland on Matchday 21, will be a trip to Lagos to face MFM Fc, while Adamawa United will be guests to FC IfeanyiUbah.
Heartland 5-0 Adamawa Utd
Shots on Target: 6-3
Yellow card 1-1
Corner kick: 12-5
Free Kick: 9-3
Man of The Match: Chukwuemeka Obioma