Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin further proved doubters wrong as they handed their archrivals, Remo Stars of Ikenne a heavy 3-0 and first defeat of the season in one of the week four games of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin on Saturday, January 28, 2023.

Imade Osarenkhoe, Sarki Ismael and Austin Ogunye grabbed beautiful goal each for the Benin Arsenals to demystify

the visiting Remo Stars and opened up a three-point lead at the top of Group A of the abridged League.

The home side opened their goal account early in the heavily hyped game when the Benin Arsenals’ goal poacher Imade Osehenkhoe scored in the sixth minute. It was made easy for him after Sarki’s attempt had slowed down the speed of Osas Okoro’s well-taken corner kick which landed well inside the box as the lanky striker smartly tapped the ball into the net with first touch.

Sarki Ismael doubled the lead for the Benin Arsenals in the 26th minute, after pouncing on a loose ball from Remo’s goalie, Kayode Bankole’s groaping hands and promptly shot it into the net to send the home fans into wild jubilation.

Andy Okpe had a couple of decent chances to level up for the away side but couldn’t complete the task before Sarki struck to further deflate the southwestern team.

In the second half, Remo Stars came out offensive, but were unable to create any big chance as the Insurance tight defense manned by Tanimu Benjamin and Sunday Anyanwu was too hard for the Ikenne boys to break .

The league leaders wrapped up the victory when substitute Austin Ogunye added the third goal of the day in the 78th minute following Divine Nwachukwu’s fine assist.

The Sky Blue Stars tried to pull one back, 10 minutes before the end of regulation time but Okpe was unlucky again as his shot went straight into the waiting Amas Obasogie’s magnetic gloves.

With the scoreline, Bendel Insurance maintain their lead in group A with 12 points after four games, three points clear of Remo Stars whose unbeaten run and clean sheet have been destroyed in Benin.

Insurance remain unbeaten after playing four matches, winning all in style.

The Benin Arsenals will be travelling to Maiduguri on Wednesday with confidence to face El-kanelmi Warriors in week five engagement.

Speaking during the post match interview, coach Monday Odigie of Bendel Insurance was grateful to God for the very good result against Remo Stars, adding that he was happy his boys converted their chances and won. He maintained that his boys did a good job and that Insurance is approaching the league one game after the other. “Well I just want to thank God, that is all I have to say. Satisfied or not satisfied I want to thank God that games are coming the way they are coming, and we are trying to fight and hopefully we are getting somethings out of them”.

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Monday Odigie also remarked that “scoreline is not the issue, it is how well your team plays, you try to stay tactically disciplined. Goal comes by mistakes and then off course there are chances. They could have taken their chances if they had”. “We are trying to grow from one game to another”.

“Don’t forget Bendel Insurance just came into the NPFL. It’s a big name, but the team is really small. So we are trying to strive and see how well we can grow with the big teams”.

Coach Daniel Ogunmodede of Remo Stars on the other hand congratulated Bendel Insurance, noting that some mistakes made by his boys cost them. “It is not an extremely bad performance for me. We played well, they played to instructions, but this is football, you can’t do without mistakes”.

“We suffered the three goals out of careless mistakes and Insurance were able to take advantage of them.

On the referee’s officiating concerns, Remo Stars’ coach said “officiating is not my job, I am a football coach, he has come, he has done his job, I came and I did my job. Today is not the way I wanted it, tomorrow, it is going to be the way I want it. He officiated, he has done his part as the referee. I commend him, running for 90mins, it is not easy”.

Coach Ogunmodede further stressed that “we conceded three cheap goals. Yes the unbeaten ends today. The league is a marathon, we are still in the league, second on the run. Maybe Insurance deserve to be at the top for now. They won four games, they deserve to be there and they are there”.

While congratulating Bendel Insurance, its technical bench and the players, the Deputy Governor of Edo State,  Comrade Philip Shaibu, stressed that Edo is building a disciplined team, a team, that by the grace of God majority of the players will be in the national team representing Nigeria playing according to the rules as disciplined players and ambassadors of Bendel Insurance.

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu who watched the match live at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, expressed his delight over Bendel Insurance win and said “They are coming into the NPFL to establish and stamp authority from the beginning and our prayer is that this form will continue to the end of the league”.

“Edo target is for them to win the league and be in the continental. The facility and Edo fans, they are itching to welcoming continental matches here. We are not in a hurry anyway, but so far so good we pray that this form they have started with, will last to the end of the league”.

“I am confident and happy with the players, you can see they are very matured, they are not in a hurry, they are playing according to their name, the Benin Arsenals”.

“Talking more seriously, one thing I have seen in Bendel Insurance that Remo does not have is discipline. For Bendel Insurance, you can see from the bench to the players are very disciplined”.

“You can see Remo bench to the players, very indiscipline and I think the league management committee should look into discipline especially at the bench, because it is the bench that initiates that indiscipline”.

“So when Remo bench is completely indiscipline what do you expect from the players”, he said.