October 3, 2023

Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin maintained their unbeaten run in the 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) after a 1-0 victory over Enyimba International FC of Aba in their final game of the first-round campaign.

The Group A leaders secured all three points at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in a Match Day 9 fixture thanks to Imade Isarenkhoe’s 23rd-minute strike.

Enyimba were hoping to reduce the hosts’ four-point lead, but they couldn’t find a way past the solid Bendel Insurance defense. The visitors gave their best effort in the game, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a defeat. The result sees Bendel Insurance finish the first-round campaign with 20 points, while Enyimba remains on 16 points.

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In the second half of the match, Bendel Insurance pushed for more goals to strengthen their lead, but Enyimba’s defense proved too tough to break down. In a post-match interview, Enyimba’s Head Coach, Finidi George, admitted that his team played well but were unfortunate to lose the game.

He rated Bendel Insurance highly, despite the team’s recent promotion to the Nigerian top flight.

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“It was a good game, and both teams played well. 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, and I am proud of them,” George said.

“They are doing so well. We know what they are capable of. They are a young team. They fight for every ball, and that is their motto. I must commend them, a team coming from the lower league and doing well. We have to commend them,” he added.

The victory keeps Bendel Insurance at the top of the Group A table, with a healthy four-point lead over second-placed Rivers United FC. Enyimba, on the other hand, remains in fourth place, six points behind the leaders. Both teams will now have a brief break before starting their preparations for the second stanza of the league.

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