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Bendel Insurance pips Heartland FC In Benin, shifts attention to FA Cup

Posted : 29 April 2024

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Bendel Insurance FC of Benin put up a spirited fight to defeat Heartland FC of Owerri 1-0 in Match Day 32 of the Nigeria Premier Football League in Benin.

Sarki Ismael scored the only goal of the match, sealing victory for Insurance in the 83rd minute of play at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

The goal-scoring chance was set up by Stanley Okorom, who curled a line-breaking free-kick from 25 yards that Sarki smartly finished off, sending the home fans into jubilation.

The tight game, as predicted by NPFL followers, had ended goalless in the first half, with Insurance strikers being wasteful in front of goal.

Between the 51st and 53rd minutes of play, Meyiwa Oritseweyimi and Chisom Okereke missed two golden opportunities, raising tension on the side of the hosts. The Insurance technical bench did not waste time, making their first substitution, bringing Vincent Okeke in for Chisom Okereke.

In the 78th minute of play, coach Monday Odigie made more substitutions, with Meyiwa Oritseweyimi, Evans Ogbonda, and Divine Nwachukwu making way for Austin Ogunye, Stephen Eghonghon, and Chukwudi Meze in his search for a goal.

Recall that Heartland FC recorded the same goal margin result against Insurance in their first-round encounter in Owerri.

Insurance FC now has 45 points after 32 games and hopes to move up the ladder with the three maximum points before their next game against Sunshine Stars of Akure on match day 33, which is being postponed by the league management body.

Insurance's defensive strongman, Sunday Anyanwu, was voted Man of the Match and went home with the Nigeria Brewery award souvenir and a cash reward of N100,000.

Meanwhile, Bendel Insurance will be directing their energy and focus on the Federation Cup Round of 64 match against Stormers SC of Ogun state. The match is scheduled to be held on May 1st at Area 3 in Abuja, as coach of the Federation Cup defending champions, Monday Odigie, expressed optimism in the post-match interview that his team will improve.

"We will continue to work hard and correct our mistakes. I am happy that the goal came. Insurance is a work in progress.

"You could see that the game was a difficult one for us. It was 50-50," Coach Odigie said.

On the other hand, coach Christian Obi came down hard on his boys, expressing disappointment with their attitude towards the game.

"I don't know what really happened to my players. They didn't look like the players I trained for this match.

"We knew Insurance's style of play and came with a plan to neutralize them and win, but my boys played something different from our plan.

"Even when I made the substitutions, those that came in fresh continued in the same manner," Coach Obi reacted.


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