Coach of Ikorodu United, Sam Okpodu, has described his team’s 3-1 victory over Heartland FC in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) as a reward for the hard work of his players.
Ikorodu United sits at the bottom of the league table and winless in their previous 11 games before the match against Heartland but bounced back from a goal down to stun their opponents from Owerri at the Agege Stadium in a Match Day 14 clash of the NPFL.
Okpodu believes it is a good motivation for the team: “These boys can play when the conditions are right and I am delighted that they rose to the occasion today.
“These boys will take the league by storm (and) all we need is to get our confidence right and people will see what we can do.
“The fans were just fantastic and we appreciate the support given to us today,” he added.
The Lagos based team were pegged back by the Naze Millionaires for most part of the first half.
Heartland’s possession was useful in the 10th minute when Anthony Oussou scored through a header after a flowing move.
The Ikorodu boys were struggling to stop the flowing play of the visitors.
What would have been Heartland’s second goal was wasted by Bright Ejike, whose header went over the bar.
An indication of what was to come came with five minutes to go in the first half when Moses Ebiye flashed a shot from outside the box with Heartland goalkeeper, Philip Acho struggling to save.
The game sparked into life in added time of the first half when Ikorodu United striker, Merenini Junior’s goal ensured that both side went into the break tied at 1-1.
A more confident Ikorodu United team made sure that Heartland’s attack on their goal was reduced to long range efforts as Ebiye put the home team ahead against the run of play in the 66th minute.
Any hope of a fightback by the Naze Millionaires ended when Zoumana Doumbia received a red card for his foul on Ebiye in the box while Ojukwu Ifegwu stepped up to score with seven minutes to the end of the game.
Ikorodu United has gathered just nine points from 14 games and up next for them in the league is an away game against Kano Pillars.