Bendel Insurance return to top division after 11 years

By George Akpayen

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Photo: OgaNlaMedia
Photo: OgaNlaMedia

After 10 years, seven months and 15 days in the second tier of Nigeria’s league football, two-time champions Bendel Insurance have secured promotion to the top-tier of the West African nation’s league.

The Benin Arsenal earned their return to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in unbeaten fashion through the Nigeria National League (NNL) Super 8.

After seeing off Delta Force (3-0) and Remo Stars (2-0) in their opening matches in the Southern Conference of the NNL, Insurance added traditional rivals Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) to their list of conquered with a 1-0 victory through the strike of veteran forward Charles Omokaro on Wednesday.

Insurance finished the 2007/08 season bottom of the pile managing just nine wins in 38 matches and afterwards the club slipped into a crisis of ownership.

However, their return to the top division came at the expense of their rivals 3SC who were equally hoping to land one of the four spots to the NPFL.

GOMBE UNITED, REMO STARS, KADA CITY MOVE UP

Bendel Insurance are joined on the promotion train by Gombe United, Remo Stars and Kada City who are will make their debut in the top-flight.

Remo Stars finished in second place behind Insurance in the Southern Conference after defeating Delta Force 2-1 at the Enyimba Stadium in Aba. Idris Aloma and Victor Mbaoma scored for Remo Stars with Osita Egbo’s goal for Delta Force coming in between.

Gombe United and Kada City got the two spots from the Northern Conference after both clubs played a 0-0 draw on Wednesday.

Kogi United’s 2-1 win over Real Stars proved insufficient in their bid to win promotion from the NNL. A goal each from John Jerome and Ibrahim Enesi for Kogi United and Ansaru Abubakar’s strike for Real Stars were inconsequential.

The four promoted clubs will not feature on the opening day of the NPFL season which kicks off this Sunday.

© The Predictor NG

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