Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in the ancient city of Benin witnessed one of the most enthralling fixtures in the Glo Premier league season as hosts Bayelsa United and Heartland FC from Owerri produced a six goal thriller in 72 minutes before the game was shifted to the next day for completion owing to deluge of rain waters on the pitch.
It was every fans' money's worth as the game was a box to box action-packed encounter. But it was the visitors that signalled they were angling for the three points as they started the fixture blazing on full cylinders as early as on the 5th minute when Jolly Osas, a player raised in Benin showed the fans he was truly at home. Osas had beaten the offside trap of Bayelsa United to score the first goal of the game.
Heartland remained the dominant side even with a goal up and it was the striking trio of Osas, Bright Ejike, and Saibou Badarou that ran rings round the defense of Bayelsa United manned by Tswanya Samuel, Odili Iyasele, Azubuike Okechukwu and captain of the side, Salomon Junior.
Bayelsa United's situation was hardly helped by the inability of goalkeeper Opubo Japheth to effectively coordinate his back liners. And the weakness was not lost on the Heartland bench whose Coach, Kelechi Emeteole reacted by urging his wards to sustain the fierce offensive. On the 20th minute, Ejike doubled the lead from the spot after Iyasele had fouled Prince Aggreh inside the 18 yard box.
Bayelsa United were thrown a lifeline when on the 35th minute Iyasele scored a beauty of a goal, but the ovation had hardly died down and the spectators back on their seats when Ejike increased his side's tally and restored their two goals lead. Again, it was a confused Opubo that bungled and gifted the ball to Ejike to slot home.
Heartland maintained their grip on the game with a tight midfield play led by Julius Ubido who stood out and the skipper, Chinedu Efugh calling the shots from the back. It was obvious the day was not going to flow the way of the home side as the first 45 minutes ended 3-1 to Heartland.
Substitute Konate Abdulramane opened accounts after the interval punishing Bayelsa United's ineffective defense line as he poked in the 4th goal on the 50th minute, but barely 10 minutes later, Bayelsa United responded. It was their leading scorer Peter Ebimobowei who outjumped his markers to nod in his side's 2nd goal. It looked like a come-back was in the offing and the now charged Bayelsa United players massed forward piling pressure and searching for the third. But it was not to be as the heavens opened and poured a deluge of rain waters that left the Samuel Ogbemudia water logged and necessitating that the match be called off.
Both sides returned Sunday afternoon to complete the unplayed minutes and Bayelsa United would get their third but Heartland held out to run away with a 4-3 win, their first win on the road this season.