Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, believes Bendel Insurance will qualify for the second round of the CAF Confederation Cup despite winning by only one goal in the first leg of their first round tie against Aso Chlef of Algeria at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.
Imade Osarenkhoe scored the lone goal of the game in the 41st minute of the tension soaked match to wild jubilations from Bendel Insurance’s fans, who filled the 12,000 capacity stadium to the brim.
Thereafter, the Benin Arsenal dominated proceedings, but could not find any way of scoring more goals to make the second leg easier to navigate. But the way Insurance dominated the game on Saturday gave Obaseki enough confidence to believe the Benin side will complete the job next week in Algeria.
Speaking after the match, Obaseki said: “I feel happy as we have a very good, youthful, strong, and imaginative team. I am really thrilled and pleased with their performance this evening. The weather was not clement, but the boys performed well.
“They had good ball control. Having studied the Algerian team, our coach will make sure they put up a good strategy and come home with the victory. I am very optimistic that we will get a win over there in Algeria.”
Obaseki described Bendel Insurance’s return to the continent as one of the steps his government has taken to reposition the state in every sphere of development.
“This is one of the greatest achievements of our government. We were able to mobilise the citizens and football lovers to fill this stadium and cheer our team to victory. “I feel good and great our team has performed well and we have brought football back to life in Benin City and this team will go far in this competition,” he said.
Also speaking after the game, former Super Eagles Coach, Austin Eguavoen, lauded the tactical play of Bendel Insurance, noting: “Bendel Insurance has been out of continental contest for a long time. Coming back now, they have brought beauty to the game. Our return leg in Algeria will be a very tough one, but we hope Bendel Insurance will make us proud.”
The Coach of Insurance, Monday Odigie, praised the performance of his boys, noting that football is not only about the number of goals scored, but also the number of points the team gets.
“It was a good game to worry about the mistakes and work to correct them. This game has passed and our focus is on the second game.”