Bendel Insurance defeated El-Kanemi Warriors 2-1 to stretch their unbeaten run in the abridged Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to 15 matches while Enyimba dug deep to pick one point at home.
The Benin Arsenal’s Saturday win at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City is their first victory after five draws on the bounce.
Ismail Sarki and half-time substitute Austin Ogunye netted one goal each after a goalless first 45 minutes to give the Benin side all three points at home.
Both strikes came just eight minutes inside the second half before a 69th-minute spot kick from Muhammed Hussaini reduced the margin.
With the strike against El-Kanemi, Sarki’s tally has now risen to five. He was also the provider for Ogunye’s 58th-minute goal.
Ismael Sarki breaks his Ramadan with a goal, Austine Ogunye scores his second at the Ogbemudia as the team returns to winning ways after 61 days without a win – Resurrection!
Following the victory, Bendel Insurance have now equalled Akwa United’s 15-match unbeaten streak set in 2021, putting them in good stead for a Super Six playoff spot in Group A.
They lead the group with 31 points after 15 matches played so far. But defeat in Benin further dampens El-Kanemi’s chances of survival in Nigeria’s elite football competition. They are rooted at the bottom of Group A standings with just nine points from the same number of games.
Meanwhile, Enyimba’s hopes of two consecutive league wins were thwarted by Remo Stars. The Peoples Elephants had defeated Kwara United 2-1 in their last game.
Phillip Odubia’s header, just two minutes before half-time was about setting Daniel Ogunmodede’s charges for a famous win over the Aba side. But Enyimba showed grit, levelling the scoreline seven minutes into stoppage time.
Sunday’s stalemate leaves the two-time African champions second in Group A standing, six points behind Insurance.