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2023/2024 NWFL Match Day 10: Lucky's stunner wins it for Heartland Queens versus Nasarawa Amazons

Posted : 22 March 2024

Heartland Queens' conjurewoman, Mary Lucky, predictably conjured the stunner in the 84th minute that disrupted a commendable performance from Nasarawa Amazons' goalkeeper, Shukurat Bakare, handing the home team a well-deserved and hard-fought victory in Wednesday's NWFL Premiership matchday 10 clash at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.

The encounter was almost heading for a stalemate when the nation's U-20 sharpshooter and the most sought-after lethal finisher pounced on a well-laid cross from teammate Chinedu Chinaka, masterfully controlled the ball with a decoy that fooled her marker before unleashing a blistering and ferocious volley that rendered the visitors' well-kept backline useless.

The match was rightly tagged as a top-of-the-table clash by bookmakers and it lived up to expectations in terms of creativity, competitiveness, quality, and skill.

The contests were balanced, with the entire first 45 minutes seeing almost zero clear chances at goal, except for a missed opportunity in the half by on-field captain Chimebere Opara. The visitors sat deep in their half with occasional forays into the opponents' territory, giving the impression that they may be playing for a draw, which would have been sufficient to keep them at the top of the group's standings. However, the hosts had a different plan altogether, aiming to snatch a win to reclaim the top spot. However, those dreams were delayed as the first 45 minutes ended goalless.

The second half witnessed a few moments of excitement, with Heartland Queens coming close to scoring on two occasions. The Owerri team allowed the opportunities to slip by, but they were not ready to give up just yet.

Heartland Queens' coach, Obi Ogbala, made two substitutions, bringing on Chidinma Anaele and Yetunde Anyantosho for Oluchi Ofoegbu and Emmanuella James, adding bite to the attack. Their introductions appeared to be the missing links as the team's performance improved instantly.

The hard-working and chief tormentor, Lucky, was everywhere urging on her teammates, and her magic paid off as she managed to set up a goal that will go down as one of the finest of the season.

She endured vicious tackles, and in desperation to contain her mesmerizing runs, she was fouled in the box in added time. However, the resulting penalty kick was inexplicably missed by defender Chinyere Iheoma.

Nasarawa Amazons finished the game with a man short in stoppage time following the sending off of their player, Ayowumni Omosuyi, for two bookable offences.

The hard-fought victory takes Heartland Queens back to the top of the eight-team group standings with 18 points, just one point ahead of their opponents and closest challengers, Nasarawa Amazons.

Next Wednesday will see an Oriental derby as the Owerri team welcomes neighbors Abia Angels to Owerri for the NWFL Premiership matchday 11 fixture.


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