Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin began their preparation for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2022/23 on an impressive note as they defeated Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin by a lone goal.
Zaidu Ayuba scored the only goal of the match to hand Bendel Insurance FC a well-deserved 1-0 win in the Grade A friendly match played at the Kwara Football Academy pitch on Wednesday, November 2022.
Unmarked Zaidu was gifted the ball by a Kwara Utd defender whose poor clearance of the ball from Julius Emiloju’s free-kick as he wasted no time to hit the back of the net in the 26th minute of play.
The Benin Arsenal set out on right footing with a series of promising and purposeful attacking approaches and could have gone ahead as early as 10 minutes, but the goalkeeper of the host team kept his team in the game with brilliant saves against Maurice Prince, Imade Osehenkhoe and Zaidu in the opening 10 minutes.
The host took over possession thereafter and momentarily terrorise Insurance’s territory, but the backline of Tanimu Benjamin, Sunday Anyanwu, Julius Emiloju and former Sunshine strongman Ebuka Akobundu remained difficult for the hosts to break and waded off attacks from their opponents.
Insurance had a good display in the first half and could have scored more in the second half but the match-winner against Santos’ side in Benin Ebeneza Odeyrmi was unlucky to convert a fine pass from Divine Nwachukwu as his shot brushed off the post.
Kwara United got into the second half with a more attacking approach with about four substitutions made by the coach to beef up his attack. The Afonja Warriors pushed for an equalizer, but Insurance remained solid as they were not precise in front of the goal.
Monday Odigie also tweaked his formation as he introduced some fresh legs to add bites to his attack but that the not change the complexion of the game apart from the one-on-one chance blasted inches away from goal by Ebenezer.
Meanwhile, it is going to be a busy day for the Benin Arsenal tomorrow as they have been scheduled to play against Okaa Sports and the University of Ilorin Team tomorrow at the Unilorin Sports Complex.
The Benin Arsenal will take on the Okaa Sports team by 8.00 AM and later face Unilorin by 4 PM at the same venue.