By Simeon OSAJIE
Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin, during the weekend continued with their impressive performance as they forced 2020 league champions Plateau Utd to a 1-1 draw to extend their unbeaten run in the 2023 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).
Like he did at El-Kanemi Warriors ground, Deputy Echeta rose to the occasion again to salvage the situation for Insurance FC on the day their goal machine Imade Osarenkhoe could not find the rhythm to score. Echeta headed home a fine cross from Austin Ogunye arising from goal mouth scramble to equalize for the Group A leaders in the 73rd minute of the game played at the New Jos Stadium.
Izuchukwu Chimezie had put the hosts Plateau Utd in front in the 43rd minute of play to give Fidelis Ilechukwu the Hope of breaking the jinx of bringing Insurance unbeaten run to a halt until 73rd minute when Echeta delivered the deadly blow to deny them of maximum points before their great home fans.
Chimezie took advantage of the defensive error by Bendel Insurance defender Ebuka Akobundu whose poor communication with their intelligent goalkeeper Amas Obasogie gifted Plateau Utd the opener shortly before the half time break whistle.
Despite the equalizer, Insurance FC continued to show their hunger for success as Deputy Echeta, Divine Nwachukwu, Imade Osarenkhoe and Austin Ogunye imposed themselves on their hosts with more great goal attempts which Plateau defense battled with till the end of the game.
The Benin Arsenals remained the only team that has not tasted defeat in the current season and still lead group A with 26 points.
Insurance FC will be playing host to Kwara Utd in week 13 revised fixture at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Benin next weekend.
In a post-match interview, Insurance FC Manager, Monday Odigie who was visibly pleased with the result in Jos, said he was not under any pressure to win the league but to build a solid and disciplined team that can fight for good results whether at home or away.
On why his side seemed to have showed Plateau respect in the first half in their play, he affirmed that they needed to be courteous playing against the former league champions Plateau Utd who also played at the continental level last season.
” We just returned from the lower league and need to respect the big teams but fight for everything to win.”