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2024 President Federation Cup Women Category: Heartland Queens reignite rivalry versus FC Robo Queens

Posted : 28 May 2024

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Heartland Queens will rekindle their domestic rivalry against topflight giants, FC Robo Queens, in Wednesday's President Federation Cup round of 16 clash at the mainbowl of Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta state.

The only time the premier leaguers have met in a competitive and non-competitive game was during the group stage clash at the immediate past edition of the biggest preseason football showpiece, the Betsy Obaseki Women's Football Tournament (BOWFT), in Benin City, Edo state, where the Owerri mainstreams fell 1-3 to the then BOWFT title holders and Lagos-based side.

Coming on the heels of the just-concluded NWFL Super Six playoffs in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, the Obi Ogbala-tutored side will hope to capitalize on their heartwarming and standout performance at the prestigious showpiece to upset the top flights from the nation's commercial hubs.

Heartland Queens will also secure a premium spot in the quarterfinals of the oldest and most glamorous Cup competition in the land.

The Owerri side's best performance in the yearly football fiesta was reaching the quarterfinals in the 2022 edition of the game.

The Owerri landladies were edged out on that occasion by the reigning Nigerian champions, Delta Queens.

Coach Ogbala will most likely unleash an unchanged lineup from the Super Six playoffs against the Lagos-based side and is expected to hand the lead attacking role to the side's talisman and 2024 Super Six mesmerizer, Mary Lucky, with equally potent aid coming from on-the-field captain Chimebere Opara, Onyinyechi Kalu, super-sub and Super Six two decisive-goal heroine, Emmanuella James. 

Hopes are high that the Owerri mainstreams' top scorer and bullish attacker, Chinedu Chinaka, may return in time for the starting role after picking up a waist injury against the eventual Super Six champions, Edo Queens, while the rearguards will see hard-as-nails defenders Onyedikachi Ekezie, Chinyere Iheoma, Kelechi Orgii, Oluomachi Onwere, and Nnenna Williams as usual providing adequate cover for arguably one of the best netminders in the domestic scene, Uchenna Chukwu.

Accurate and tailor-made passing options will come from Oluchi Okwara, Oluchi Ofoegbu, Chidinma Anaele, and youngster Nwabueze Charles.

A win for the Owerri side will serve as sweet revenge for the 2023 BOWFT group stage loss to the Lagos-based side and secure a passage to the last eight of this year's President Federation Cup.


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