NPFL 24: Bendel Insurance thrash Sporting Lagos, ends first stanza on a high 

NPFL 24: Bendel Insurance thrash Sporting Lagos, ends first stanza on a high 

Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin, today thrashed FC Sporting Lagos 3-1 in Match Day 19, ending the first round of the Nigeria Premier Football League on a winning note

Junior Osaghae opened Scoring for Bendel Insurance in the 33rd minute of play after a strong resistance from the visitors. He took advantage of a rebound and fired in without wasting time.

Chisom Okereke had fired a goal-bound long-range shot that was blocked off target by Sporting defenders.

Five minutes later, Goalkeeper Nathaniel Asibe and his defenders were punished again when they left the hunter Chukwudi Meze unchecked in the box as he connected well with Junior Osaghae's pullout and headed home to open his goal account with the Benin Arsenal.

The Benin Arsenals continued to dominate the game till the end of the first half, leaving the visitors deflated going into the changing room for a time break

On return for the second half, the visiting Sporting Lagos stepped up their game after making two subscriptions, looking dangerous in the Insurance area but the Benin Arsenals defence strongmen Sunday Anyanwu, Benjamin Tanimu and Ebuka Akonbudu did everything to curtail the visitors.

In the 60th, Divine Nwachukwu increased the tally for Insurance, making it 3-0. Divine was well positioned near the arc to complete the assignment Chisom Okereke initiated when his shot on target was parried by Sporting Goalkeeper Nathaniel Asibe.

It was when it looked over for the visitors that Insurance goalie David Obiazo gifted Henry Ndedi who scored the consolation goal for the Lagosians in the 91st minute. Henry tried his luck as he struck from about 25 yards which Obiazo allowed to go over for a goal kick.

The 3-1 victory over Sporting Lagos has now pushed Insurance up to the fifth position on the table with 30 points, three points behind leaders Lobi Stars who play their last game of the first round against Plateau Utd on Sunday.

In a post-match interview, Bendel Insurance coach Monday Odigie praised his boys for being able to convert the chances they got into goals. He insisted that Insurance is still a work in progress. Odigie who didn't rule out taking advantage of the mid-season transfer window to beef up his team, expressed the confidence that his team will keep improving when the second stanza begins.

On the other hand, coach Paul Offor of Sporting Lagos admitted that his side lost to a superior side. He said that the 3-1 loss to Insurance was their biggest defeat this season.

Meanwhile, Osagae Junior was rewarded for scoring the opening goal for Insurance as the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council Comrade Festus Alenkhe, as usual, presented the cash award to a new hitman for the Benin Arsenals.