Kwara United players were made to labour hard to record a slim victory over visiting Heartland FC of Owerri on Sunday in Ilorin by wining the match 2-1 at the State Stadium complex, Ilorin.
The hosts’ defender, Deji Bamidele, scored a thunderous goal from 30 yards in the 57th minute of play, while Alao Danbani scored his 7th goal of the season in the 69th minute.
Kwara United players defended desperately in the 30th minute to deny the visitors when Heartland attackers unleashed their attacking prowess on the hosts.
Alao Danbani would have scored two minutes later, but he played straight into the hands of Femi Thomas instead of finding an unmarked teammate leaving his technical crew and fans in anguish.
The introduction of Samad Kadiri and Junior Ayobami in the 48th minute to Kwara United’s attack added bite to the team and they helped caged Heartland players to their goal area.
It was Kadiri who had a quick impact on the game when his effort forced Femi Thomas to a great save in the 53rd minute of play.
Kadiri again imposed himself on Heartland players, won possession in a promising area and shot at goal from 25 yard, but his effort hit the bar in the 67th minute.
The visitors half the scoreline in the 80th minute when Chukwudi Nwaodu scored a beautiful team goal with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The result means Kwara United moved one place on the log from the 5th to the 4th position.
Speaking after the match, Kwara United’s Head Coach, Abdullahi Biffo, said it was a tough game and he was happy to have recorded his first win over Heartland since he took charge of the team.
The coach said he instructed his players not to look at the position of Heartland on the log, but go all out to get all the three points.
Biffo maintained that if Heartland had played the way they did in the first half, it would have been difficult for his side to get all the three points.