14 December 2012

Nigeria: Heartland Retains Super Cup

Heartland will remain Nigeria's champion of champions for a second straight year after they defeated Kano Pillars 2-0 Thursday.

'The Naze Millionaires' beat Dolphin in last year's Super Cup and they repeated the feat in Port Harcourt. "We let in two soft goals and did not play to our high standard," said Pillars spokesman Idris Malikawa.

"This loss simply shows we have a lot of work ahead of us."

Happy Akuoka gave Heartland the lead after 35 minutes before experienced campaigner John Owoeri doubled the Owerri's club advantage on the hour. Pillars international defender Umar Zango was sent off in the dying moments of the game for dangerous play.

Pillars lined up several of their top stars including Gambo Mohammed, Rabiu Ali, Bello Musa Kofarmata and Shehu Abdullahi. Meanwhile, The Nigeria Premier League will kick off in January before the 2013 Nations Cup, the NFF announced Thursday.

This decision was taken at Thursday's Annual General Assembly of the federation in Port Harcourt. NFF also upheld the sacking of the Victor Baribote-led NPL board and a management committee to run the league has been set up.

The NPL congress in Abuja on Tuesday proposed February 16 as kick-off date for the new league season, but the NFF amended this recommendation by saying the league will begin next month.

The NFF congress also ordered that the congresses of the women's league, Nationwide League, APFON and coaches association be staged within the next three months.

The congress equally commended the executive committee and management of the NFF for the qualification of the country to the 2013 Nations Cup, the African Youth Championship as well as the Africa U17 Championship.

It also unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the NFF under the leadership of Aminu Maigari.

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