Bendel Insurance have moved to the top of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League table after defeating former champions, Plateau United 1-0 in matchday 3 of the season at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
The hosts got off the mark in the early minutes of the game from the penalty spot after Austin Oyunye was hacked down by a Plateau United defender.
Benjamin Tanimu who took the penalty kick sent his shot into the upright left of the goalkeeper to give his side the only goal of the match in the 15th minute.
Efforts to double the lead failed just as the visitors wasted the few chances they had despite putting the home side under serious pressure.
Plateau United fought well but couldn’t find an equalizer on the road as they now look ahead to their next home game against Sunshine Stars
‘Benin Arsenal’ as they are popularly known have continued to maintain a good run at home as they have gone unbeaten in the last 9 home matches.
It will be recalled that Bendel Insurance beat Plateau United 2-1 in matchday 2 of the abridged 2022/2023 NPFL season.
At the Muhammadu Dikko stadium, Katsina United held visiting Lobi Stars to a barren draw yesterday.
The hosts who have been winless against the ‘Pride of Benue’ in the last five games thought they had scored but Lobi Stars FC keeper Jimoh Lucky made sure that wasn’t the case.
Katsina United following this draw have ensured they have not lost any of their last 9 home matches with Lobi Stars now undefeated in their last 3 games.
In the last match of the day, Sunshine Stars were unable to shine over visiting Heartland FC at the Akure Township stadium.
Sunshine Stars had started well with the goalposts denying Lucky Nwafor the hosts the lead.
But in the 40th minute, the deadlock was broken after Michael Olalusi converted the penalty kick for the hosts.
The 2023 Nigeria National League (NNL) champions who have lost their last 2 away matches got back in the game in the 74th minute through Patrick Nwogbaga to level up.
The ‘Naze Millionaires’ were given a lifeline to earn their first league win in the 87th minute after the referee pointed to the penalty box but the penalty crashed against the posts as the game ended 1-1.
Meanwhile, action continues tomorrow as Enyimba hosts Akwa United while Bayelsa United welcome Remo Stars. Shooting Stars will play host to Gombe United while Sporting Lagos will seek to regain the top spot when they host Doma United.
Kano Pillars will be guests to Abia Warriors just as Enugu Rangers and Rivers United tackle Niger Tornadoes and Kwara United respectively.
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