Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 11 April 2014 | 4,156 times
After a delay that was occasioned by striking referees of the Edo State Football Association, the state’s 2014 Challenge Cup football competition finally kicked off on Wednesday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in the state capital, Benin City. In one of the highly anticipated fixtures, professional division one side, Bendel Insurance FC, came from a goal down to beat fellow Benin City side Morning Dew FC 3-1.
Meyiwa Oritseweyinmi’s double and a brilliant left footed strike from outside the box by Stanley Okonkwo ensured that Insurance didn’t suffer an upset from the spirited underdogs.
The first half was an end-to-end affair as Insurance struggled to impose themselves on their opponents. After missing a great scoring chance earlier on, Insurance found themselves a goal down when a powerful header by Nicolas Osadolor off a free kick cross put Mountain Dew ahead in the late minutes of the first half. Insurance were stunned, and needed the half time whistle to reorganise.
On resumption of play for the second half, Insurance, to their credit, stayed calm and tried to patiently carve out openings in the Mountain Dew defence. They were duly rewarded midway in the second half when Stanley Okonkwo cut in from the right to unleash a 35-yard left-footed screamer to draw his team level.
Mountain Dew became jittery at the back thereafter, and their defensive naivety made them go one man down when their captain was sent off for a second booking late in the game.
Insurance quickly took advantage of their numerical advantage when Oritseweyinmi scored from a rebound just at the edge of the six-yard box with a calm finish after Mountain Dew’s goalkeeper had parried an earlier shot. Oritseweyinmi was on hand to tap in Insurance’ third deep into stoppage time to put a gloss on his side’s win.
Chief Coach of Insurance Roland Ewere expressed relief that his side overcame the Mountain Dew challenge. “I was worried when we had not found the winner on time,” he told News Express. “Mountain Dew played well, but we showed we have the experience to survive challenges like this.”
•Photo shows two-goal hero Meyiwa Oritseweyinmi (left) of Bendel Insurance, after the game at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
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