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2023/2024 NPFL Match Day 28: Bendel Insurance suffers first home loss after 17 yrs as Niger Tornadoes blow away records

Posted : 04 April 2024

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Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin suffered a significant loss in Benin as their guests on Match Day 28 of the Nigeria Premier Football League, Niger Tornadoes, claimed a 3-1 victory at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

The Benin Arsenals had to endure the pain of their 17-year-old strong record of no defeats at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium being shattered by the strong winds from Niger State in the rescheduled midweek engagement after their FA Cup success.

Benin Arsenals FC emerged champions of the Edo FA Cup on Sunday after a comfortable 3-1 victory over Ine Stars, but not without a big sacrifice as their defensive stalwart, Sunday Anyanwu, sustained an injury that kept him out of the clash against Tornadoes.

The Ikon Allah Boys stunned Bendel Insurance in the 13th minute of play as Ernest Chidiebere latched onto a rebound ball, which he brilliantly placed in the right corner beyond the reach of Amas Obasogie to open the scoring for the visitors.

Clinton Jephta became a thorn in the flesh of the Insurance defense, which missed the services of their leader, Sunday Anyanwu. His clever pass met Akintunde Azeez, who smartly smashed it in to double the lead for the visitors in the 44th minute following poor communication between the Insurance goalie and his defenders.

As time drifted away for halftime, the unbelievable happened as Clinton Jephta received a through pass from Akintunde Azeez and shot from close range to make it 3-0 before the halftime whistle.

Upon resumption for the remaining half, the coach of Benin Arsenals, Greg Ikhenoba, made quick substitutions with Stanley Okorom and Meyinwa Oritseweyinmi replacing Efe Enabulele and Zaidu Ayuba, respectively.

The substitutions raised the standard of play as Insurance pushed the visitors back to their gate.

Still dissatisfied with his team upfront, Coach Ikhenoba replaced Sarki Ismael and Sodje Stephens with Chukwudi Meze and Stephen Eghoghon in the 65th minute and later introduced Vincent Okeke in place of Chisom Okereke.

Insurance continued to mount pressure on the visitors in search of a goal and possibly an equalizer comeback, which the Ikon Allah boys, who were already comfortable with their first-half goals, resisted until Chukwudi Meze got the consolation goal in the 82nd minute.

The Benin Arsenals hope to bounce back with the availability of Sunday Anyanwu and Joel Djong to fix their depleted defensive lineup when they visit Kwara Utd in the Match Day 29 revised fixture in Ilorin on Sunday.


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