Bendel Insurance and Rivers United FC shared the spoils in a pulsating 1-1 draw on Match Day 16 of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), leaving Benin Gunners coach Monday Odigie content with the performance but coy about his team’s ambitions for the season.
Chisom Okereke, on loan from Enyimba FC, opened the scoring for the Benin Arsenals in the 21st minute, displaying an opportunistic streak when he pounced on a loose ball in the Rivers United box after a sweeping pass from Paul Obata.
However, the Pride of Rivers roared back before halftime, with captain Nyima Nwagua equalizing in the 38th minute to restore parity, Footballrover reports.
“We don’t have a targe. We just take it one game after the other. Everybody wants to win; we want to play the next game better than we have done now; maybe at the end, we will see where we are,” he emphasized in his post-match interview.
While coach Odigie highlighted areas for improvement, he commended the team’s effort against a top-tier opponent like Rivers United.
He emphasized their bravery and fighting spirit, acknowledging Rivers United’s status as one of the nation’s elite clubs.
This emphasis on little and gradual improvements is consistent with Odigie’s overall attitude.
“All I’m particularly concerned about as a coach is the performance of our game generally. It’s now how we can take it up and give the home boys plenty of improvements to get their career to the national team,” he stated.
Odigie’s tactical tweak of introducing Divine Nwachukwu in the second half also paid dividends, as the midfielder added much-needed creativity and control to the Insurance midfield.
With 24 points from 16 games, Bendel Insurance currently sits comfortably in 7th position on the NPFL table.
Their next challenge comes against Rangers International of Enugu on Saturday, January 6, 2024, a match that promises another exciting encounter in the ever-competitive Nigerian top flight.