Return of 2023 AFCON heroes and four other takeaways from Bendel Insurance draw against Enyimba 

Published: February 24, 2024
Return of 2023 AFCON heroes and four other takeaways from Bendel Insurance draw against Enyimba 

The Nigerian Premier Football League tcracker between Bendel Insurance FC of Benin City and Enyimba of Aba took place at Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin, with neither side managing to get on the score sheet in the keenly contested encounter.


Whilst the game was a rollercoaster of emotions for adoring fans who were present, has carefully identified five key take away from the thrilling encounter between the two league powerhouses:


1) The return of AFCON heroes, Finidi George and Olorunleke Ojo


Probably the biggest talking point in the game was the return of  Enyimba goalkeeper Olorunleke Ojo as well as manager and former Nigerian international Finidi George, who were away from the team on international duty at the just concluded 2023 Africa cup of Nations where the Super Eagles secured a podium finish.


The Super Eagles third choice goalkeeper was relatively solid on his return from international duty whilst Finidi George went about his regular business of fishing out instructions to his players on the sidelines .


2) Goalkeeping masterclass from 2023 Super Eagles invitee


With every match played, Amas Obasogie continues to prove his status as one of the NPL's finest glovesmen as well as a key player for Bendel Insurance, as he produced another goalkeeping masterclass in today's mouthwatering encounter with Enyimba.


The 2023 Super Eagles invitee was unfazed by the mighty status of Enyimba International as he remained calm and pulled off a string of brilliant saves to deny Enyimba a deserved reward for their constant pressure on the home side's shaky defence on the night.


3) Absence of Nigeria U23 international Benjamin Tanimu felt 


On a night were the Benin Arsenal were relatively shaky and unsettled defensively, it didn't come as a surprise as Benjamin Tanimu was absent due to his recent transfer to Tanzania.


It was apparently evident that the home side missed his commanding presence and ability to command his back line as they were defensively shambolic on the night.


4) Poor officiating continues in the NPFL


Whilst the football played by both sides was undoubtedly entertaining, officiating was questionable at times and it remains to be seen whether officiating in the NPL in general will improve as time goes by.


The referee made bizarre calls on both sides and the players absolutely did not hide their frustrations at the sound of the final whistle.


5) Low turnout of spectators


Despite the fact that a heavyweight side in the form of Enyimba International stormed the ancient city of Benin, the turn out of fans was relatively low.


One would expect that the stadium to be packed full to capacity given the status of the two-time African champions but the reverse was sadly the case and it has turned out to be a general consensus in the Nigerian top flight.




Ejim Kaycee




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