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2023/2024 NPFL: Amas Obasogie's heroics earns Bendel Insurance away point in Lafia

Posted : 22 April 2024

Bendel Insurance FC from Benin is gradually regaining strength following their home defeat against Niger Tornadoes. They proved to be a tough nut to crack against former league champions, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, in Matchday 31 of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), delivering a spectacular performance that earned them an away point.

Managed by coach Monday Odigie, the team came close to securing their first away win of the season but was unlucky not to clinch all three points after a penalty miss by their defender, Sunday Anyanwun, in the 53rd minute, resulting in an exciting goalless draw at Lafia City Stadium in Nasarawa State.

Sarki Ismael was brought down in the box by a Lobi Stars defender, preventing him from scoring after beating the offside trap in the 51st minute, leading to a penalty in favor of Insurance FC. Unfortunately, Sunday Anyanwu's penalty kick sailed wide of the goal.

Nevertheless, the Matchday 31 encounter lived up to expectations as both Nigerian football giants engaged in a thrilling battle, with more threats coming from the hosts while Insurance tactically absorbed pressure and launched counterattacks.

The pressure from the home team brought out the best in Stanley Okorom, whose understanding and communication with Sunday Anyanwu and Ebuka Akobundu kept the invaders at bay.

Meanwhile, Insurance goalkeeper and captain, Amas Obasogie, was the standout performer of the match, as his heroic displays earned him the Man of the Match award.

Throughout the game, Bendel Insurance's goalkeeper lived up to his responsibilities. Insurance survived an early scare in the 13th minute when Adebayo Waheed of Lobi missed a vital opportunity by shooting wide.

Another chance came for the home team five minutes later, but Alao Dabani's shot went off target.

In the 30th minute, Amas Obasogie made a good save, while his team's confidence continued to grow as they absorbed pressure and threats from Lobi Stars, with Divine Nwachukwu, Chisom Okereke, and Sarki Ismael posing some threats on their counterattacks.

In the 43rd minute, Amas Obasogie made another good save to deny Lobi Stars another clear chance, forcing the game into a goalless draw at halftime.

As the second half resumed, Lobi Stars came close to breaking the deadlock, but Amas Obasogie rose to the occasion by deflecting a close-range shot.

Insurance's chance to score a goal and possibly take home three points came when Sarki was fouled in the box by a Lobi Stars defender in the 51st minute, leading the referee to point to the penalty spot, but the penalty kick was wasted by the hardworking Sunday Anyanwu.

Sodje Stephen's shot in the 62nd minute was saved by Lobi Stars' goalkeeper, Daniel Emmanuel.

The home team increased the pressure between the 70th and 90th minutes in their quest for a goal, but Insurance survived all of Lobi Stars' attempts, as Obasogie's ability to keep a clean sheet made it difficult for Lobi Stars to find the net.

It's worth noting that Insurance also managed a 1-1 draw against Kwara United in Matchday 29 before a tough 2-1 win over Kano Pillars in Matchday 30 to put the embarrassment of the home defeat behind them.

The Benin Arsenals defeated Lobi Stars 1-0 in their first leg encounter in Benin.

The Benin Arsenals now have 42 points from 31 matches and will host Heartland FC from Owerri in their Matchday 32 encounter scheduled for Saturday, April 27th, at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, with kickoff slated for 4 p.m.


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