Heartland FC secured their third consecutive home win and achieved their first top-flight victory over Remo Stars with a 3-1 triumph at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, on Thursday evening.
Goals from Promise Anyanwu, Onyekachi Okafor, and Ikechukwu Chinedu, along with a consolation goal from Sikiru Alimi, powered Heartland FC to their most significant win of the season. This marked the final game in charge for the club's Technical Adviser, Kennedy Boboye.
The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Match Day 16 tie, dubbed a clash between the top and bottom of the table, took place in Owerri. A minute of silence was observed in honor of the late former Chairman of Heartland FC, Ignatius Okehialam, and the Naze Millionaires players and officials wore black armbands as a sign of grief.
At the start of the game, there was no significant difference between the two teams. Heartland had glaring chances, with Ifeanyi Anyanwu and George Jenom missing opportunities when the visitors' defense was caught off guard.
Heartland FC dominated the early exchanges, and while the Sky Blue Stars used counter-attacks effectively, the Naze Millionaires' defense thwarted most threats. Goalkeeper Chisom Chiaha was also alert.
The game was goalless at halftime, and Boboye maintained the same lineup. In the second half, Promise Anyanwu converted a penalty in the 50th minute after a Remo Stars defender handled the ball in the box.
Remo Stars responded with increased attacks and managed to score in the 69th minute from a free kick, nodding it past Heartland's goalie. With the game tied, substitutes Onyekachi Okafor and Ikechukwu Chinedu made a significant impact, scoring in the 93rd and 96th minutes, respectively.
Boboye, in tears, dedicated the win to the fans and confirmed it was his last game in charge due to directives from the Imo State Governor. He urged the players to support reinstated Technical Adviser Christian Obi, showing true sportsmanship.
Heartland FC moved to the 17th spot with 16 points from 16 games, marking the club's highest position in the ongoing season under Boboye's guidance in the last seven games, achieving three wins, a draw, and three losses.