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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Joy As NFF Gifts Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George Car Worth N125m

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has presented the newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, an official luxurious Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon car worth N125m

The gift is part of the NFF’s commitment to prioritizing the welfare of its employees, ensuring they receive the best treatment to excel in their roles.

READ ALSO: AFCON: ‘Nigeria Thirsty For Victory’ – Sports Minister Charges NFF, Peseiro

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The NFF’s gesture is seen as a demonstration of its dedication to supporting its employees and ensuring their well-being.

Reacting, Finidi George expressed gratitude to the NFF for their generosity, and confirmed that the federation is actively searching for a good apartment for him in the country’s capital.

 

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Heavyweight Champion, Oleksandr Usyk, Suspended From Boxing

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Oleksandr Usyk has been issued a brief suspension following his intense victory over Tyson Fury.

In their undisputed bout, Usyk nearly floored Fury in the ninth round, with only the ropes keeping the Brit upright. The referee intervened to count, and despite recovering to hear the final bell, Fury suffered his first career loss by split decision in Saudi Arabia.

After the fight, Usyk was taken to hospital for a check-up and was given the all-clear, even though Fury claimed he had fractured his opponent’s jaw.

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READ ALSO: UK Threatens To Deport Physically-challenged Nigerian After 38 Years

The British Boxing Board of Control suspended Usyk until June 2 due to his injuries sustained from Fury. No such suspension is noted on Fury’s record.

The suspension will not affect Usyk’s career as the Ukrainian boxer is ready for a break after a nine-month training camp. His fight with Fury was initially postponed from December to February and then to May, reports the Mirror.

“I don’t want to think about boxing now,” said Usyk, who attended the post-fight press conference with his daughter Yelizaveta’s Eeyore cuddly toy. “My camp started in September 2023 and I worked for nine months.

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READ ALSO: Guardiola Makes Decision On Man City Future After ‘Insane’ Six EPL Titles

“I missed Happy New Year, I missed my son’s birthday, I missed my other son’s birthday, I missed my daughter’s birthday and then the birth of my daughter. I also missed family holidays. I was only focused on this fight. Now I’m happy and I want to go back home.”

Usyk’s reign as the undisputed champion is set to be short-lived, with the IBF preparing to strip him of their title due to his contractual obligations for a rematch with Fury in October, which prevents him from facing mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.

 

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EPL: Haaland Finishes Top Goal Scorer [See list]

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Erling Haaland has finished as the English Premier League (EPL) top goal scorer for a second consecutive season as Manchester City beat West Ham 3-1 to win a fourth consecutive title.

The Norwegian striker was absent for two months of the season through injury and struggled to match the heights of his debut campaign at City when he struck 52 times in all competitions, including a Premier League record 36.

The 23-year-old failed to add to his 27 Premier League goals on the final day but still proved decisive in the run-in to help City secure an unprecedented fourth consecutive English top-flight crown.

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READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Man City Fans, Players Celebrate Record Fourth EPL Title In Style

Haaland scored nine times in his final seven Premier League appearances of the season to help City edge Arsenal to the title by two points.

Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who himself started the season at City, was second in the top scorer standings with 22 goals, one ahead of Newcastle striker Alexander Isak.

EPL Top Goal Scorer Chart
27: Haaland (Man City)

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22: Palmer (Chelsea)

21: Isak (Newcastle)

19: Foden (Man City), Solanke (Bournemouth), Watkins (Aston Villa)

18: Salah (Liverpool)

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17: Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

READ ALSO: Guardiola Makes Decision On Man City Future After ‘Insane’ Six EPL Titles
16: Bowen (West Ham), Mateta (Crystal Palace), Saka (Arsenal)

14: Jackson (Chelsea), Wood (Nottm Forest)

13: Havertz (Arsenal)

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12: Cunha (Wolves), Hwang (Wolves), Trossard (Arsenal), Wissa (Brentford)

11: Alvarez (Man City), Eze (Crystal Palace), Gordon (Newcastle), Morris (Luton), Nunez (Liverpool), Richarlison (Tottenham)

10: Adebayo (Luton), Bailey (Aston Villa), Fernandes (Man Utd), Hojlund (Man Utd), Jota (Liverpool), Olise (Crystal Palace)

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