CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: HEARTLAND RESTORES HOPE
Captain Chinedo Efugh's 85th minute goal gave Heartland FC a deserved 2-1 victory yesterday over Ismaily FC of Egypt, thus restoring hope for the Nigerian team in this year's CAF Champions League competeition.
The Egyptians had gone in front in the 30th minute when Mohammed Soliman Ali beat Heartland's off-side trap and volleyed the ball past goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
Defender ThankGod Ike equalized for the home team in the 39th minute to put scores at 1-1 at half. The Egyptians, who were observing the Ramadan fast, adopted a defensive play for most of the time with six men at the back and four in the mifield, leaving Nigerian-born Ndubuisi Eze only upfront.
Heartland's technical adviser, Samson Siasia, at the post match conference blamed his players for failing to execute what they were thought in training. He blamed his defenders for losing concentration which he said, resulted in the goal scored by the Egyptians.
Siasia also blamed his strikers for not converting the numerous goal scoring chances created for them.
His Ismaily counterpart, Mark Wollet, blamed the Ramadan fasting, in the main, for his team's loss. The Dutch also complained bitterly about the poor state of the Dan Anyiam Stadium's pitch which he described as only fit for a fight and not for playing good football.