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2023/2024 Match Day 27 Oriental derby: It's a fight for our life, says Heartland FC

Posted : 23 March 2024

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Heartland FC faces a daunting but surmountable task as they confront Oriental Brothers, Enugu Rangers, on Sunday in a Nigeria Premier Football League Matchday 27 tie at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.

The first-leg fixture played in Awka ended 2-0 in favor of Enugu Rangers, but the Flying Antelopes didn't have an easy game.

The Naze Millionaires have an opportunity to avenge the loss of the first leg on Sunday in Aba as they seek consecutive home wins for the first time in the second half of the season.

Considering Heartland FC's history, the incumbent players of the Owerri side have a lot to prove and the responsibility to ensure they display the true Spartan spirit and ensure the club's name and image are not subjected to ridicule or derision by those who know little or nothing about the club's rich history.

They can do this if they truly approach Sunday's game with their hearts and minds and not the half-hearted displays they exhibited in most of the matches they have played this season.

The technical crew also should perfect their strategies and ensure the players with the right hunger and zeal to put their bodies on the line are given the chance to play, while the management has a task to tie up all loose ends to ensure the players are in a good frame of mind ahead of the game.

Heartland FC defeated bogey team Abia Warriors 2-0 two weeks ago to pick their first Oriental derby victory of the season from four games.

That win was significant, and Christian Obi's led side can make it count by earning another win on Sunday.

Enugu Rangers, under Fidelis Ilechukwu, have been transformed better than they were under Abdu Maikaba last season, and it is for a reason they are among the frontrunners for the league title this term.

Despite the adulation on the Flying Antelopes, the Naze Millionaires must explore all their loopholes to get the needed home win and keep the hope to survive the relegation alive.

Heartland will need the support of the supporters' club and their fans in Aba too on Sunday to ensure that the Owerri side sings a victory song at the end of the game.

The Naze Millionaires' situation is not a lost cause, but everyone in the club must unite to save the club. Clubs whose members are singing in discordant tones hardly succeed.

The rich history of Heartland FC, right from its formation in 1976, is bigger than anyone at the club, and all hands must be on deck to make the club succeed.


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