The stage is set for a historic clash between unbeaten Bendel Insurance and Enugu Rangers in the final of the 2023 Federation Cup, Soccernet.ng reports.
Both teams emerged victorious from their fiercely contested semi-final encounters, securing their spots in the highly anticipated championship showdown.
In the first semi-final, Enugu Rangers narrowly edged out Plateau United, picking up a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
In the other last-four encounter, Bendel Insurance engaged in a tight contest against Warri Wolves, resulting in a goalless draw at the end of regular time. The game proceeded to a gripping penalty shootout, where the Benin Arsenal triumphed with a 4-2 scoreline, sealing their passage to the final.
The 2023 Federation Cup final between Insurance and Rangers evokes memories of the 1978 and 1981 FA Cup finals.
In 1978, Bendel Insurance emerged victorious, defeating Enugu Rangers 3-0 in a resounding triumph.
However, Rangers sought redemption in 1981, turning the tables on their bitter rivals with a 2-0 victory to claim the prestigious title.
Incredibly, Bendel Insurance only gained promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League this season, but they have been near-perfect in the league this season, boasting an impressive 18-match unbeaten streak.
Furthermore, the two-time league winners have swept through the FA Cup, winning all five games en route to the final.
As the final looms, Bendel Insurance now has the opportunity to claim the two major titles within their reach this season.
A victory in the 2023 Federation Cup final would not only solidify their unbeaten status but also grant them one of the coveted four CAF club competition tickets.