Stephen Dunmoye

Bendel Insurance FC of Benin fiercely returned to the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, after they humiliated Akwa United of Uyo by 2-0 in the 2022/23 season opener in Uyo.

After a cagey start to the game, Imade Osarenkhoe put the Benin Arsenal ahead in the 40th minute, before Divine Nwachukwu doubled the lead four minutes later to give the visitors a 2-0 lead at half time.

The hosts dictated the pace of the second 45 minutes in search of a way back into the game in front of their apprehensive fans, but Insurance held on to record a famous victory on their return to the topflight.

Bendel Insurance coach, Monday Odigie, believes his team took their chances, despite the sustained pressure from the hosts.

“NPFL is a big and tough League. Irrespective of the result in our favour, we are going back to work on our weakness and strengthen the boys mentally. Our opponents were more tactical and experienced. Faith just smiled on us and we took our chances, and were also lucky to go away with the 2-0 victory. We will go back to prepare better ahead of stronger challenges,” Odigie said.

Akwa United coach, Deji Ayeni, however, rued the errors of his players.

“We made a lot of mistakes and the god of soccer was not on our side. First and home game loss is a wakeup 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 only need to psyche the players up to be able to recover from the shock and face future challenges well,” Ayeni said.