Bendel Insurance triumphed 4-1 against Bayelsa United in a friendly tune-up match held at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, played behind closed doors on Saturday morning.
The preparation for the new season saw Bendel Insurance utilizing 33 players who each featured for 90 minutes. The players were split into three squads, each playing 30 minutes to get ready for the 2023/24 season.
In the first 30 minutes, Bendel Insurance’s regular starters featured, scoring all four goals. Following a handball in the box, Imade Osarenkhoe converted a penalty in the 18th minute, skillfully sending the Bayelsa goalie the wrong way. Just four minutes later, Imade scored again from a rebound after Vincent Augustus’ attempt was earlier denied by Bayelsa’s centre-back with a goal-line clearance.
Sarki Ismael in the 25th minute thought he had the third goal with a header from Imade’s cross, but it was disallowed for offside. However, Sarki redeemed himself three minutes later with a beautiful header from Zaidu Ayuba’s corner kick, securing a legitimate goal. At the half-hour mark, Vincent Augustus netted the fourth goal, finishing off Zaidu Ayuba’s cross.
In the second batch of players, which included trialists, a defensive mishap led to a consolation goal for Bayelsa United.
The third batch of players entered the pitch at the 60th minute to make their mark. Notably, the Insurance feeder’s goalkeeper, Joshua Baba impressed by saving a penalty in the 88th minute after a rash challenge on a Bayelsa attacker.
The Federation Cup champions, Bendel Insurance will face Algerian outfit ASO Chlef in the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup. The first legs for the first preliminary round will take place between 18 and 20 August, while the second legs will happen a week later between 25 and 27 August.