• Sat. May 18th, 2024

Under the floodlights at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Federation Cup Champions, Bendel Insurance failed to secure maximum points against Nigeria Premier Football League Champions, Enyimba International of Aba as the spoils were evenly shared, platinumnewsng.com is reporting.

Bendel Insurance came into the game off a 1-0 loss to Sporting Lagos away from home last Sunday. Determined to turn the tide around, Monday Odigie made one change from the side that lost in Lagos. Chukwudi Meze started in place of Evans Ogbonda as the gaffer deployed a 4-2-4 formation.

At the start of game, Enyimba under the coaching instruction of Super Eagles assistant coach, Finidi George pressured Insurance defensive line but, the partnership of Joel Djong and Sunday Anyawu preserved Insurance’s backline.

Bendel Insurance came alive from the 11th minute with countless attacking pressure on the People’s Elephant resolute defense that had a partnership of Pascal Eze and Desmond Ojietefan.

With the Benin Arsenal’s pressure came a loophole Enyimba tried to capitalize on; the home team’s midfield. To solve this deficiency, Monday Odigie’s men relaxed the pressing intensity on Enyimba. Unable to breakthrough the midfield of Insurance, Enyimba began to hold possession with no intent within their half for the rest of the first half.

Going into the second half, Insurance became more purposeful struggling to get a goal but could not beat Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke who produced wonderful saves to prevent Insurance. Insurance then began to deploy aerial balls to score an opener, yet to no avail.

Odigie made the first change substituting Paul Obata for Evans Ogbonda. He later introduced Austin Ogunye, Kelly Kester and Raymond Ikhenoba for Chisom Okereke, Stephen Sodje and Divine Nwachukwu in the 83rd minute, yet no goal

Finidi on the other hand brought in Uche Collins for Joseph Atule in the 66th minute. Four minutes until the end of regulation time, Muyiwa Balogun and Elijah Akanni came in for Chijioke Mbaoma and Alalibo Somiari.

At the blast of the final whistle, there was no victor neither was there any vanquished as the spoils were evenly shared. Bendel Insurance have won only one of their last four matches. Since the departure of Sarki Ismael from Benin City, the team has failed to score. The Benin Arsenal face Shooting Stars next Wednesday.

Jokanola Bolaji

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