12th March, 2013
Heartland Coach, Ransom Madu has said his side 2012/13 Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL Matchday 1 defeat to newcomers, Nembe City will count for nothing against their CAF Confederation Cup opponents, Union Sportive Bitam on Sunday.
Cup holders, Heartland were stunned 1-2 by Nembe City at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri on Sunday and will go into the game against Gabonese side in Africa’s second tier club championship on a low in Owerri.
The Nembe-based side shocked their experienced side with an opening goal through Brown Braye in the 47th minute while Heartland restored parity through Tope Olusesi in the 71st minute. However, the Matchday 1 giant-killers stunned their hapless hosts a minute later with the winning goal through Samuel Akinbinu.
Madu said luck was hard on his side but assured of a better performance against Union Sportive Bitam.
“Continental is continental while league is league. It’s two different things entirely. We’ll give Nigerians something to cheer about when we host US Bitam on Sunday in the CAF Confederation Cup.
“Nothing strange about the home defeat to Nembe City, it’s football, they played well, used their chances and won. We played well too but were simply unlucky.
“The defeat couldn’t be undone. We have to overlook the defeat and simply march on.
“We have tough work on our hands, we don’t have information about the Gabonese side only that they’re a high-scoring side.
“So we have to work on our attack to ensure we win convincingly to make the reverse fixture in Bitam, Gabon a bit easy,” he said.
Heartland and Lobi Stars representing Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup were drawn bye in the first round of the competition.