Posted by Nelson Dafe | 23 July 2015 | 3,051 times
The fairy tale run of non-league outfit BJ Foundation FC of Benin City in the Federations Cup continued Wednesday evening when they knocked out heavily fancied Heartland FC of Owerri in the Round of 16 of the competition. The entertaining match took place at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi, Benue State, ended 3-2 in favour of the underdogs.
The young and brave BJ side were given little chance of beating Premier League campaigners Heartland, despite having seen off some other teams in the lower divisions of the Nigerian league.
Coming up against Heartland, who recently walloped high-flying Wikki Tourists of Bauchi 4-0 in their last Premier League game, one would have been forgiven to think that BJ had come to the end of the road in their Federations Cup journey.
Heartland opened scoring in the early minutes of the game and looked to be coasting home to a routine win. However, the never-say-die BJ youngsters replied with a quick double from Junior and captain and centre back Ekigho Erimuya to go into the break 2-1 up.
BJ extended their lead to the utter disbelief of spectators through midfielder Chinedu. The mighty Heartland were reeling bad. Try as they did to come back, they were only consoled by a dying minute second goal.
As the referee sounded the final whistle, BJ players and coaches went wild in celebrations. They had created one of the biggest upsets in the Federations Cup history!
Just before BJ left Benin City for Makurdi for the encounter, there was a huge battle cry from friends and supporters of the team to do Edo State proud. Former national Under-17 Coach Godwin Izillien had given a rousing pep talk to the lads, reminding them that they stood the chance of doing the impossible through togetherness and a strong mental strength.
A politician who has been supporting the club, promised the boys their lives would never remain the same again if they could beat Heartland and qualify for the semis. He said his birthday would come up on Thursday and promised to surprise the players in an unforgettable way if they won.
With this win, the BJ warriors might just have hit a huge goldmine.
•Photo shows BJ Foundation FC players.
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