20th September, 2010
Heartland coach, Samson Siasia, has lashed out at his players after they were forced to aÂ 1-1 draw by JS Kabylie of Algeria in their final CAF Champions League Group B match inÂ Owerri yesterday.
It was a most disappointing Champions League campaign for â€˜The Naze Millionairesâ€™, whoÂ were beaten last year in the final of the competition.
They crashed out of this yearâ€™s tournament in the group stage with five points from sixÂ matches.
â€œIt was most disappointing that my players could not even control the ball,â€ Siasia toldÂ MTNFootball.com immediately after yesterdayâ€™s match, played inside a virtually empty DanÂ Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.
â€œThis was not a great experience for me because a coach is judged by his last result.â€
Siasia said that he plans to embark on a massive recruitment drive so as to transform theÂ fortunes of the Owerri outfit.
â€œI now have to buy new players to fortify this team as I had to make do with what IÂ inherited from the former coaches,â€ he moaned.
Heartland appeared to be on course to appeasing their home fans with a victory when theyÂ went ahead through a penalty converted by striker Emeka Nwanna after Joshua Obaje wasÂ fouled inside the box.
However, Nabil Yalaoui equalised for the North Africans in the 50th minute when he tuckedÂ home the ball after goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi failed to hold on to a shot from inside theÂ box.
The equaliser was heartbreaking because it came just minutes after skipper ChineduÂ Efughâ€™s header was ruled offside by South African referee Daniel Bennett.Â There willÂ also be efforts by John Owoeri and Obaje late on, but it was the Algerians who almostÂ snatched victory in stoppage time when Yalaoui scoffed his shot from inside the box.