• Sat. May 18th, 2024

NPFL24: Bendel Insurance’s Sarki Ismael header seals victory over Heartland

With seven minutes left on the clock, Sarki Ismael headed in his seventh goal of the campaign in Bendel Insurance’s 1-0 home victory over Heartland, platinumnewsng.com is reporting.

Matchday 32 of the Nigeria Premier Football League was an uninspiring evening for the Benin Arsenal and the Naze Millionaires, at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium. Under the scorching sun which peaked at 35°C in Benin City, both teams struggled to find the back of the net. The dull display saw the first 45′ end in a scoreless affair.

Monday Odigie’s side resumed the second half with so much intensity making it hard for Christian Obi’s team to match up. With their teeming supporters dressed in red and chanting from the stands, Heartland’s defense remained resolute in curtailing Bendel Insurance. At the 55th-minute mark, the Benin Arsenal saw her biggest chance squandered by Chisom Okereke who fired wide in front of the goal.

Perturbed by the miss, Odigie substituted Chisom, bringing in Vincent Okeke a minute later. With additional strength, Vincent troubled Heartland’s backline with Andrew Abalaogu bearing the brunt of the former’s tricky moves.

Chances came in but Insurance failed to score any. To curtail the home team, Obi deployed a high line to keep Insurance’s attack offside which worked perfectly fine until Sarki’s header.

The breakthrough came in the 83rd minute when Sarki headed in a free kick from Stanley Okorom, throwing the stadium into wild celebrations for the crucial win.

This means Insurance leaps to 8th on the log with 45 points pending when other games of matchday 32 are played.

Photo credit: Twitter

Jokanola Bolaji

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