Bendel Insurance claimed a shock 2-0 win away from home at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo when they faced Akwa United in the first match of NPFL23. The Benin Arsenal claimed the win after a competent and confident showing against the new-look Promise Keepers in Uyo.
After a 175-day hiatus, the Nigeria Premier Football League resumed for the 2022-23 season. The opening fixture was reminiscent of that of the last season when newly-promoted Remo Stars defeated fellow South-Western side MFM FC away from home.
Akwa United started the game on the front foot as they looked to exert authority against the newly-promoted outfit, but they failed to really test the Benin side’s backline.
Against the run of play, Bendel Insurance took the lead in the game after 37 minutes. A brilliant run into the box from the right flank by Divine Nwachukwu ended with the forward squaring for Imade Osehenkhoe to tap into the net from close range.
The visitors doubled their advantage only six minutes later in fortuitous circumstances. Akwa United goalkeeper Godgift Elkanah gifted Ismael Seriki a goal after he flapped a corner onto the Bendel Insurance forward’s knee into the back of the net.
Bendel Insurance held on despite an Akwa United onslaught to claim an impressive victory over the 2020-21 NPFL champions.