Tosin Omoyele scored with virtually the last kick of the game to grab a vital point for defending champions Plateau United against Heartland FC in an NPFL Matchday 18 fixture played in Owerri on Monday.
Heartland FC returning from a 0-3 defeat in Maiduguri had their new coach Mehmet Tayfun on the touch line for the first time at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.
The Naze Millionaires started the game the better side, playing their best football this season but also had to contend with the long throws from CHAN Eagles star, Daniel Itodo.
The home team’s early dominance paid off as a combination between the three forwards, Fuad Ekelojuoti, Moses Akinade and Abiodun Thompson resulted in a very impressive team goal to put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute.
Plateau replied with an improved performance, forcing the Heartland backline into making errors but they however couldn’t make it count with a goal as Ebele Obi stayed alert between the sticks for Heartland keeping the scoreline at 1-0 at halftime.
After the break, the visitors resumed the pressure with Heartland seemingly comfortable with the slim lead and looking to attack at rare periods when they had the ball.
With the combination of Heartland’s defence getting more composed and the absence of Emeka Umeh, Plateau United’s tactics of long throws into the box seemed inefficient as the ball was either cleared or gathered by the waiting Obi.
Just as everyone thought the game was over, with a number of home fans trooping out of the stadium, Omoyele grabbed the equaliser deep into added time to rescue a point for the champions.
After long deliberations on the validity of the goal, the Center Referee awarded the goal to the visitors and ended the game after the restart.
Heartland: Obi, Onyechefula, Oparaugo, Egbujor, Ikwugbado, Obioha, Chimankpa (Emariojake 68′), Kouakou (Ubido 75′), Fuad, Abiodun (Momoh 88′), Moses
Unused Subs: Japhet, Odera, Odeh, Adebayo
Plateau United: Ajboye, Saleh, Itodo, Ambrose, Golbe, Ogene, Gyang (Johnson 68′), Odafe (Ngbede 66′), Omoyele, Turba, Eneji (Bala 80′)
Unused subs: Gaadi, Amaefule, Ayagwa, Akide
Yellow Cards: Akinade 33′, Ngbede 72′, Obi 83′ Golbe 87′
Goals: Abiodun 21′, Omoyele 94′