Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) new boys Ikorodu United halted their 11-game run without a win by defeating Heartland 3-1 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Saturday.
Playing in the first game of the NPFL doubleheader for Week 14, the Oga Boys, still without influential player Harrison Egbune, were tipped to continue their winless streak considering Heartland’s pedigree.
Heartland head coach Alphonsus Dike could afford to leave Emeka Ogbugh on the bench and even play three at the back with Emeka Atuloma drafted in the three alongside Chinedu Efugh and Zoumana Doumbia.
The opening 10 minutes confirmed the reason Ikorodu United are bottom of the standings and without a win since February 28 when they defeated Lobi Stars 1-0.
On 10 minutes, Benin Republic striker Anthony Oussou nodded Heartland into the lead following a well-worked ball with Atuloma delivering the cross.
Howeve, in added time of first half, Ikorodu fought back and Junior Merenini side-footed in Ebiye’s pass to level the score at 1-1 and end the first 45 minutes even.
Twenty minutes into the restart, Ikorodu United were 2-1 up. It was the first time they would score twice in an NPFL game this season. Efugh and Doumbia in the Heartland defence hesitated in clearing their lines, and Ebiye, Ikorodu United’s best player on the day, stole in to score.
Dike sent on Ogbugh but it was Ikorodu United who pulled clear by scoring a third goal. Ebiye earned his side a spot kick after referee Musa Shehu adjudged Doumbia to have fouled the Ikorodu United man in the box on 83 minutes. The Heartland defender was sent off and Ojukwu Ifegwu scored from the spot to make it 3-1.
Despite the win, Ikorodu United remain bottom but now have nine points from 14 matches.
RESULTS & FIXTURES
Everton 2 – 1 Bournemouth
Newcastle 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
Stoke 1 – 1 Sunderland
Watford 3 – 2 Aston Villa
West Brom 0 – 3 West Ham
Arsenal 1 – 0 Norwich
Swansea vs Liverpool 12pm
Man United vs Leicester 2:05pm
Southampton vs Man City 4:30pm
Real Sociedad 0-1 Real Madrid
Atl Madrid 1-0 Rayo Vallecano
Real Betis 0-2 Barcelona