Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin,Saturday defeated Junior Katsina United FC by two goals to nil to advance to the round of 32 of the 2022 Nigeria Football Federation’s Challenge cup,tagged ‘AITEO Cup 2022’.
The Benin Arsenal filed out against their northern opponents, with confidence as Deputy Echeta almost put them ahead in the 10th minute after he drove from the left flank and fired a shot that went wide.
The newly promoted side to the NPFL took control of the game as they dictated the pace with series of chances from both flanks of the field with Deputy Echeta and Sarki Ismael tormenting the Katsina boys until Imade Osarenkhoe got the breakthrough in the 36th minute.
Bendel Insurance pushed further but not without Junior Katsina United’s resistance as they(Katsina jr) momentarily took control of the midfield and put together two threatening attacks in quick succession but Anyanwu Sunday and Tanimu Benjamin were alive to their responsibility to stave off the Katsina invasion before the half time whistle.
Seven minutes into the second half of the game, Bendel Insurance doubled their lead after Deputy Echeta calmed himself in the box to connect with Zaidu Ayuba’s cross, he trapped the ball and comfortably slotted home the second goal for his side in the 52nd minute.
Junior Katsina United made five changes in a space of 20 minutes to force something out, but Bendel Insurance proved too strong for them,as Insurance kept piling up more pressure to get the game sealed up.
Coach Monday Odigie made three substitutions for Bendel Insurance as Deputy Echeta, Zaidu Ayuba and Ismael Sarki made way for Taiwo Oripelaye, Meyinwa Oritseweyinmi and Oluka Ngei respectively in the 71st minute.
The three substitutes made massive contributions with more bites to their attack, but they were unlucky to increase the tally against their tired opponents.
The three times champions played out the last five minutes of the game to entertain the spectators at the FIFA Goal Project of the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
With this victory, Bendel Insurance FC are through to the round of 32 of the AITEO Cup and are expected to play against the winners between Otasollo FC and Abia Warriors on a date to be announced by the NFF.