Heartland’s Bright Ejike’s 40th minute penalty proved incisive in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Akwa United at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.
It was a day of disappointments, after the visitors lost their goalscorer Namso Edo to a muscle injury.
The Owerri-based outfit claimed their match-winning goal when goalkeeper Kayode Olufemi rushed to hack down Emeka Ogbugh in the goal area. Ejike stepped up to convert from 12 yards.
United fought hard for an equaliser in the second-half and could have earned one in the final minutes of the game when substitute Enize Emmanuel struck a lovely volley that looked destined for the net, only for Emmanuel Iwu to dive in full stretch and tip the ball over the bar.
The win helped the Naze Millionaires move up to 15th in the table with 20 points from 16 games and sits. Akwa United are down to the eighth position with two points above their opponents.
Match Day 16 Results
El-Kanemi 2-0 Giwa FC
Heartland 1-0 Akwa United
Sharks 2-1 Abia Warriors
Gombe United 1-1 Warri Wolves
Nasarawa United 2-0 Rangers
Crown FC 2-0 FC Taraba
Nembe City 1-1 Kano Pillars
Enyimba 1-0 Dolphins
Lobi Stars 2-0 Bayelsa United