The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Group A leaders, Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin, were today forced to a 1-1 draw by visiting Akwa United in the week eleven game played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin on Wednesday.
Goal-scoring machine Imade Osarenkhoe put Insurance FC in front within two minutes into the game after surging forward to connect fantastic Divine Nwachukwu’s well-coordinated pass, making it his 8th goal of the season.
The visitors later came back into the game and showed maturity as former league champions, and got the equalizer through Steven Oliseh in the 34th minute under the rain which almost ruined the first half.
Both teams returned for the second stanza with attacking football but the second half did not produce any goal.
The Benin Arsenals shocked Akwa United in the current season’s opener in Uyo with two unreplied goals from Imade Osarenkhoe and Sarki Ismael and have since remained unbeaten after eleven games.
Despite the 1-1 stalemate in Benin on Wednesday, Insurance remains on top of the group A log with 25 points, five points superior to Remo Stars who moved up after their 2-1 away victory at El-Kanemi Warrior.
The Monday Odigie’s managed Insurance will be heading to Jos this weekend to face another former champions Plateau Utd in a week twelve fixture.
The Benin Arsenals are the only team yet to taste defeat in the Nigerian top-flight league this season and currently lead the group of champions with 25 points from eleven games.
The Promise Keepers manager, coach Deji Ayeni, had boasted that his team is not afraid of the high-flying Benin Arsenals and stated that they are in Benin for a revenge mission which however, was not hundred percent possible.
Speaking after the explosive encounter, both coach Monday Odigie and Deji Ayeni gave kudos to their players. Odigie said that his team could not find the rhythm to win. “It happens in football, but I am happy it ended well,” Odigie said.
On the other hand, the Akwa Utd handler, Ayeni, said that his team played against very-hungry-for-success Insurance FC who fights for everything.
“We came to Benin with the mindset of revenge but Insurance FC’s fighting spirit stopped us from getting three points”, Ayeni remarked.