Kwara Holds Bendel Insurance as NPFL Action Returns to Benin City

Bendel Insurance

Duro Ikhazuagbe in Benin City

Top flight football action returned to Benin City Wednesday after 11 years as Bendel Insurance played a scoreless draw with visitors Kwara one of The Match day 4 NPFL matches.

However, the new move by the state government to ensure that there are no crowd violence in Benin ensured match officials who disallowed what looked like a good goal were not molested.

Although Insurance gave their all, Kwara United were resolute in defence and occasionally made daring attacks at Insurance goal area.

Bendel Insurance’s most experienced player, Charles Omokaro who has become the talisman of the Benin Arsenal, failed to live up to his reputation as all his tricks could not yield any dividend in this first game at home since returning to the top flight.

Elsewhere, MFM claimed their second win of the season and shoot ahead of the field in Group A, while former leaders Kwara United step one slot down with Enyimba and Katsina United completing the top four.

Rangers start their campaign on a losing note and are rooted at the bottom of the table, while Lobi Stars are only one step and and one point.

Wasiu Jimoh’s excellently-taken half-volley earned Rivers United a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Sunshine Stars in Akure.

Sunshine Stars had taken the lead early in the second half through Fuad Ekelojuoti who scrambled home a header from three yards in a crowded Rivers United penalty area but the visitors responded gamely to claim a share of the spoils.

The Rivers United Technical Manager, Stanley Eguma, made two changes gto the side that drew 1-1 with Nigeria Tornadoes in Minna in their last game.

Kehinde Adedipe and Kingsley Patrick were preferred to Weli Christian and Chigozie Ihunda and the altearations proved to be inspired.

A first half which failed to hit expected heights was marginally sahved by the hosts who dominated territorially but lacked imagination in the final third.

Ekelejuoti’s brilliant cross on 22 minutes almost caused damage but the Rivers United goalkeeper, Drissa Bamba saved well from Seun Olunlayo’s header from point blank range off the precise delivery.

Bamba was again called into action just before the interval and this time, he saved far less spectacularly from Tope Akande’s header as the hosts poured forward in numbers in an attempt to go into the interval in front.

Eight minutes into the second half, the hosts took the lead in fortuitous fashion as Ekelejuoti prodded home the scrappiest of goals from three yards out as the visitors failed to clear their lines.

In Group B, Heartland maintained their perfect result and stay on top of the table, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah are in second place, one point short with Plateau United in No 4.

El-Kanemi Warriors have the opportunity of going ahead of Ifeanyi Ubah if they win their home match against Nasarawa United tomorrow.

Group A

Katsina Utd 1-0 Wikki

Sunshine 1-1 Rivers Utd

MFM 1-0 Rangers,

Enyimba 0-0 Lobi Stars,

Insurance 0-0 Kwara Utd,

Tornadoes 0-0 Remo Stars

Group B

IfeanyiUbah 1-0 Yobe Stars

Heartland 1-0 Go Round FC,

Akwa Utd 2-2 Plateau Utd

Gombe Utd 2-0 Kano Pillars,

Abia Warriors 1-0 Kada Stars