Bendel Insurance maintain top spot as Plateau United bash El Kanemi 5-0
• Enyimba, Dakkada, Doma, Wikki also win
Group A leaders, Bendel Insurance, yesterday, faced, perhaps, their toughest game of the 2022/23 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), so far, but at the end, they came out 1-0 winners against visiting Nasarawa United.
Nasarawa United were among the top sides in the league last season, but they have been floundering in the seven-week competition, until yesterday.
Led by Coach Abubakar Arikya, Nasarawa United threw everything they had into the game played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, perhaps, looking for their first away win.
But in a Bendel Insurance, who have won all their home games and recorded a couple of away wins, they met a side grilled for success.
The first half of the game ended goalless, but the second half was only seven minutes gone when Ebuka Akobundu got the goal that made the difference.
Insurance will meet second-placed Enyimba in their next game away from home.
Speaking on his side’s loss, Nasarawa United Coach, Arikya, said: “We played well, but we got a result we did not expect. That is football.
“I am proud of my boys because they gave a good account of themselves.
“We will go back to work harder and by the grace of God, we will get a better result in our next match. We intend to be in a position to qualify for the play-off.”
To Insurance’s Coach, Monday Odigie, yesterday’s result showed the stuff his players are made of, saying a lot is being demanded of the players by the tight fixtures.
“It was difficult because this is our second game in just four days and that was why we struggled from beginning to the end.
“We beg the organisers of the league to please consider these boys and make the schedule lighter,” he said.
On the game against Enyimba at the weekend, Odigie said Insurance would approach it without fear.
“It doesn’t matter who our opponent is, but we always try to play well and get a good result. We are taking it one game after the other.”
In Aba,, Enyimba defeated Shooting Stars 2-0 with Chukwuemeka Obioma Godson scoring the two first half goals. The defeat leaves Shooting Stars four points off the championship playoff places, while Obioma becomes the leading scorer with seven goals from eight games.
Elsewhere, Plateau United bashed El Kanemi 5-0 in Jos, Kwara United drew 1-1 with Remo Stars, Niger Tornadoes held Bayelsa United to a 1-1 draw, Wikki Tourists defeated Lobi Stars 2-0, while Doma United beat Abia Warriors 1-0.
The league continues today with Akwa United hosting Gombe United, while the game between Rivers United and Enugu Rangers in Port Harcourt has been postponed.