Ben Peters, Abuja
BENDEL Insurance Football Club of Benin, on Sunday evening, defeated visiting Enyimba International Football Club of Aba 1-0 in the week 9 fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State.
The only goal of the tension-soaked match was scored by top striker, Imade Osarenkhoe courtesy of Ebuka Akobundu’s assist from the right flank in the 23rd minute of play and eventually sealed victory for the high flying Bendel Insurance FC.
Imade, Sarki Ismael and Vincent Augustus came close to increasing the goal tally for the host but their efforts went inches away from the post at different occasions as the homers came all out against the People’s Elephants.
Enyimba on the other hand showed why they are the most respected club in the country as they gave a good account of themselves with possessive display throughout but all their attempts for possible equaliser met the brick wall posed by Insurance defence network of Sunday Anyawu, Benjamin Tanimu, Julius Emiloju and Ebuka Akobundu.
On resumption of hostility in the second half, the homers continued from where they stopped in the second half as they piled up more pressure on the visitors in search of more goals but it ended 1-0.
With the victory over the two times CAF Champions League Winners, the Benin Arsenal ended the first round of the 2023 NPFL Group A with 23 points, seven points clear of the second placed Enyimba.
In a post match interview, the Chief Coach of Enyimba,Finidi George, commended his boys for playing to instructions, and blamed their defeat on hard luck.
The former Ajax FC of Holland and Super Eagles mercurial winger, said his boys will be going back to the drawing board in preparations for the second stanza of the league.
On his part, Coach Monday Odigie of Insurance expressed delight on the victory over the hard-fighting Enyimba boys, just as he promised to correct some mistakes noticed in his team before the resumption of the second round.
On the chances of Bendel Insurance winning the league, coach Odigie said his boys will be taking each game at a time.
Insurance FC have been in spectacular form since return to the premier league and will be proceeding on three weeks midseason break satisfied.