Bendel Insurance of Benin remain unbeaten in Nigeria Professional Football League in the first round campaign after defeating Enyimba International FC of Aba 1-0 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State.
The Peoples Elephant had come into the game with the hope of closing up four points lead by the Benin base club side. But Imade Isarenkhoe’s strike in the 23rd minute denied the Aba visitors the joy of the day as the Benin Arsenal claimed the three-point in front of the home crowd.
Despite Isarenhkhoe’s strike Bendel Insurance continued to push for more goals to solidify their lead against the two time African champions. But coach Geoge Finidi‘s players played brilliantly in defense keeping away most pressure from Benin Arsenal strikers.
In the post- match interview, coach Finidi lamented their failure of not reducing the four points lead against the host in the Match Day 9 fixture. He emphatically said the initial 20 points lead in their group in the abridge league is a demonstration of the strength of the young Benin Arsenal.
“We gave our all, but it was unfortunate that we conceded that goal in the first half and that ended the game 1-0
“It is a lesson for us, but I think overall, our players did so well, I am proud of them.” George Finidi said.
The former Nigeria international and ex-Ajax Amsterdam striker further said, “We know what they are capable of, they are a young team and they fight for every ball.” Finidi emphasised that this is a core value of the Bendel Insurance team.
Insurance currently top the Group A in the abridge league with 23 points from 9 matches. The team had qualified from the NNL, Nigeria National League before gaining promotion to play in the Nigeria Professional Football League this season.
In other matches, Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan settled for a 2-2 draw against Akwa United. In Group B Lobi Stars of Markurdi defeated Dome United 2-0. Sunshine Stars won at home 1-0 against Wikki Tourists while Bayelsa United drew 1-1 against Rangers International of Enugu.