Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin started the 2022/23 Nigerian Premier Football League on a bright note when they stunned 2021 champions Akwa United 2-0 in front of their home fans at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

Imade Osarenkhoe opened the scoring for Seguros in the 39th minute of the game after landing an assist from Divine Nwachukwu and struck open the net without wasting time.

The host had still not recovered from Imade’s surprise when
Sarki Ismael doubled the visitors’ lead three minutes later after nailing a poorly cleared ball past the Akwa Utd back-line and goalkeeper to complete the task for Benin Arsenals.

Benin’s Arsenal took advantage of a huge two-goal lead until the break.
On the restart, home team tactician Deji Ayeni made two quick substitutions that changed the face of the game as the 2021 champions continued to pressure Insurance, but thanks to insurance strongmen Benjamin Tanimu, and goalkeeper Amas Obasogie, who were outstanding in service.

In a post-match interview, the insurance coach, Manager Odigie, said he was happy to start the League on a very bright note. However, he admitted that his team was lucky to convert his chance, saying that his opponents were more tactical.

“NPFL is a big, tough league. Regardless of the result in our favor, we are going to work on our weakness again and mentally strengthen the guys. Our opponents were more tactical and experienced. Fate just smiled on us and we took advantage of our chances, and also lucky to leave with a 2-0 win. We will return to better prepare before the stronger challenges that we expect to face.” Odigi said.

On the other hand, Akwa Utd manager Deji Ayeni said his boys made some costly mistakes in the first half. “We made a lot of mistakes and the god of football was not on our side. The defeat of the first game and at home is a wake-up call. We were better in the second half but the damage was already done in the first half. No team is invincible. It depends on the response of the players. My boys are not bad. We just need to mentalize the players to be able to recover from the scare and face the challenges of the future well ”. He is stressed.

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