Bendel Insurance have clinched the prestigious Federation Cup title after defeating 10-man Rangers 1-0 in a thrilling showdown at Asaba’s Stephen Keshi Stadium on Wednesday night.
Imade Osehenkhoe emerged as the hero for Bendel Insurance, securing the winning goal from a penalty kick late in the first half.
This victory marks a significant milestone for the Benin Arsenal, as it is their first Federation Cup triumph in 43 years, adding to their previous three titles.
How it happened
The game started with Bendel Insurance creating the first scoring opportunity in the 16th minute, but Deputy Echeta’s shot was deflected and missed the target.
Rangers swiftly responded eight minutes later, with Amas Obasogie making a crucial save to deny them a goal and force a corner kick.
Both teams persisted in their pursuit of the opener, but it was Rangers’ Godwin Obaje who received a yellow card for a rash tackle on Julius Emiloju shortly before halftime.
In the dying moments of the first half, Bendel Insurance won a penalty when Chinerem Ugbwueze handled the ball inside the box, resulting in his expulsion from the match as the referee adjudged it to be a deliberate act.
With composure and precision, Imade Osarenkhoe calmly converted the penalty, outfoxing Rangers’ goalkeeper, Detan Ogundare, who dived the wrong way.
Although reduced to ten men, Rangers initiated the first attack of the second half, but they lacked the quality and numbers in the final third to cause Insurance real damage.
Unwilling to rest on their laurels, Bendel Insurance’s head coach, Monday Odigie, made double substitutions in the 51st minute, replacing Zaidu Ayuba and Ismael Sarki with Vincent Augustus and Ebenezer Odeyemi.
Despite creating opportunities in the latter half, both substitutes were let down by their lack of accuracy.
By securing the Federation Cup, Bendel Insurance have earned the privilege to compete in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.