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NPFL: Bendel Insurance Begin Season With 2-0 Victory Over Shooting Stars

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Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin this evening began the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League on a bright note, following a convincing 2-0 victory over arch rivals Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.

The Benin Arsenals got the first goal eight minutes into the game, courtesy of an own goal scored by Shooting Stars’ Garli Falke.

The goal was as a result of the pressure mounted by Insurance attackers as Falke’s intended clearance went into his side’s net.

The current Federation Cup holders enjoyed the goal advantage in the remaining part of the half until Tamara Ezikiel got injured out of the midfield.

Insurance went into the dressing room at half time with the 1-0 advantage.

READ ALSO: CAF Confederation Cup: Bendel Insurance FC Land In Casablanca Ahead Of Clash With RS Berkane

The hosts came out in the second half with early attempt to increase the tally but Jude Ebhohon’s strike went wide in the 56 minute.

The Gbenga Ogunbote managed Oluyole Warriors later came out of their shells to level up with some good attempts but Amas Obasogie was up to the task in goal mouth for Insurance.

Coach Monday Odigie’s tactical switch, following 72nd minute tripple substitutions, removing Jude Ebhohon, Vincent Augustus Paul Obatan for Austin Ogunye, Akpos Godness and Evans Ogbonda changed the complexion of the game to Insurance advantage.

The combined force of the three substitutes paid off when Evans Ogbonda picked up a pass from Stanley Okorom and beat two men before he released the stunner from 25 yards to send the home fans at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium into wide jubilation.

Both teams met twice last season and ended their matches in draws. Insurance FC were forced to a 2-2 draw in the first leg and again forced to a1-1 draw in the revised fixture at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium.

READ ALSO: CAF Confederation Cup: Edo Readies As Bendel Insurance Hosts Morocco’s RS Berkane

In a post match interview, Coach Monday Odigie said he was happy with the victory but not excited because some of his key players were not available for the game.

It was a tough game and thank God we won. The side that converted their chances won. We are going back to work on areas we had lapses” he added.

Also speaking,the team captain Maurice Prince and the second goal scorer Evans Ogbonda said they were happy to begin with victory over a stubborn side.

The team manager of the visiting Shooting Stars Gbenga Ogunbote expressed displeasure over officiating and poor finishing by his strikers.

Insurance FC will be hosting Plateau Utd on Wednesday in Benin in the match Day Two fixture.

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CAF Awards 2023: Osimhen Jets Off To Marrakech, Misses Napoli Training

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Victor Osimhen has travelled to Marrakech, Morocco to attend the CAF Awards 2023, missing out on Napoli’s training session on Monday morning.

La repubblica reports that the Nigerian striker didn’t train with his Napoli teammates at their training base at the Castel Volturno.

Instead, Osimhen took a a private flight from Capodichino Airport to Marrakech, Morocco, to be part of the award ceremony.

READ ALSO: EPL: Cascarino Slams Ten Hag For Starting Out-of-form Man United Attacker

The 24-year-old is nominated for the Men’s Player of the Year alongside Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and PSG defender Achraf Hakimi.

The forward is looking to become the first Nigerian to win the prestigious award since Nwankwo Kanu claimed the prize in 1999.

The CAF Awards 2023 will hold at Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, on Monday night (today).

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EPL: Lee Hendrie Gives Condition For Arsenal To Win Title Under Arteta

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Former Aston Villa midfielder, Lee Hendrie has said that Arsenal will win the Premier League title this season under their manager Mikel Arteta if they strengthen one key position – a striker- in the January transfer window.

Arsenal are currently in the second position on the Premier League table behind leaders Liverpool after 16 matches.

Arteta’s side lost 1-0 against Aston Villa over the weekend at Villa Park.

John McGinn scored the only goal of the game in the seventh minute as Unai Emery’s side won the Gunners at home.

READ ALSO: EPL: Cascarino Slams Ten Hag For Starting Out-of-form Man United Attacker

Speaking on Sky Sports: Hendrie said, “I think if they bring a striker in, Arsenal will win the league.”

Arsenal currently have the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel, Martinelli and Leandro Trossard leading the team’s attack.

The North London club have been linked with Brentford striker Ivan Toney and Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.

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‘I regretted It, I’m Sorry’ – Ex-Chelsea Defender Apologises To Di Maria

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Former Chelsea defender, Filipe Luis has issued a public apology to former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria over an incident that occurred years ago.

Luis revealed the dirty tactics he used to subdue Di Maria in their first meeting in La Liga.

The Brazilian arrived in Spain ahead of the 2010-2011 season and became a key player for Atletico Madrid over two spells at the club.

In his debut campaign with Atletico Madrid, the left-back was up against Di Maria and Real Madrid for the first time.

READ ALSO: EPL: Cascarino Slams Ten Hag For Starting Out-of-form Man United Attacker

Prior to the match, Luis was approached by former Barcelona and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who told him that the only way to rile up Di Maria was to mention his wife’s name.

Speaking in the latest episode of the Charla podcast, Luis revealed that he did as he was told, and the effect was immediate on the former Paris Saint-Germain star.

Luis also admitted that he feels bad about what he did to the Argentine and extended an apology to him.

“My biggest regret was with Di María. Atléti vs Real, Agüero said ‘if you come and talk about his wife, he will get lost’.

“I spoke about his wife and he was lost. I beat him the whole game. I got home and regretted it so much. Di María, I’m sorry,” Luis said.

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