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Heartland Coach Obi On ‘Cloud Nine’ After Stopping 17-Match Winless Run

Heartland Coach Obi On ‘Cloud Nine’ After Stopping 17-Match Winless Run

Christian Obi, a former Nigeria goalkeeper was emotionally swept off his feet Wednesday evening after his club, Heartland FC, broke their awful 17-match winless run in the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League campaign following a 2-0 triumph over Abia Warriors in an oriental derby on matchday 25 fixture at Awka City Stadium, Completesports.com reports.

Two quick-fire goals by Onyekachi Okafor in the19th minute and Ikechukwu Mgbemena on 25 minutes proved healthy enough for the five-time champions to earn fetch their first win of the season under coach Christian Obi and makes it Heartland’s third oriental derby win over Abia Warriors in 14 meets. Abia Warriors won nine of the derbies against Heartland while two ended in draws.

It was an amazing return to winning ways for the Naze Millionaires who last won a in January against Remo Stars in Owerri in a Matchday 16 fixture that ended 3-1.

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After the final whistle on Wednesday, a delighted Obi went to the edge of the pitch, knelt down, with both hands raised to the high Heavens, in praises to the Lord of Heavens for bringing his season’s heartbreak to an end with a ‘sweet’ win over Abia Warriors.


Christian Obi


For close to 25 seconds, Obi had his mouth agape, but found it difficult to utter a word when Completesports.com caught up with him.

“It can only be God”, an obviously emotion-striken Obi said when he regained his voice.

“I’m grateful to God and everyone who made this victory possible this day, this moment and in this match for us to break the jinx.

“I’m proud of the players and I’m pleased with the supporters for strongly and faithfully standing behind us through this turbulent period”.

A delighted Obi would look forward to the coming games with great optimism as Heartland focus on battle against relegation with thirteen matches remaining in the campaign.

“I believe that now that the jinx has been broken, the coast is now clear for us to mount the block for the race ahead,” Obi stated.

“It isn’t gonna be easy but with today’s victory, the players confidence has been restored and we’ll give it our best shot”.

Obi wasn’t alone in this shared optimism. The Naze Millionaires’ fold – Heartland players and supporters turned the stadium into a carnival arena after the final whistle.

Heartland GM Promise Nwachukwu (r), Victor Ezuruike

Promise Nwachukwu, General Manager of the club, re-echoed the coach’s dedication of the victory to God Almighty.

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“It’s God that has done it. I’m grateful to Him. I must also commend His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma for his support and motivation.

“I’m also grateful to the players for their commitment and fighting spirit, the supporters for their loyalty and passionately standing behind the club.

“We’ll approach all the coming games with commitment and dedication as if we haven’t won any game”.

Heartland now move one step up the NPFL standings, now in 19th position with 23 points.

On Sunday, March 17, Heartland face Stanley Eguma’s Rivers United in a matchday 26 fixture. Rivers United are currently 16th on the log with 28 points but have three games in hand.

By Sab Osuji

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