NPFL Super 6 Play-off: Rivers United Ends Bendel Insurance’s 21-match Unbeaten Run
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By Our Correspondent
Defending champions, Rivers United on Friday ended Bendel Insurance’s 21-match unbeaten run in the 2022/2023 Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL season after the Port Harcourt based side defeated them 2-1 in their matchday 4 clash at the ongoing NPFL Super 6 Play-off in Lagos
Maurice Chukwu put Rivers United in front in the added time of the first 45 minutes shortly before halftime whistle.
On resumption of the second half, Insurance took the battle to the Rivers area, as they mounted pressure on the defending champions with the introduction of Vincent Augustus,Imade Osarenkhoe and Efe Aghama but their attacks were put under control by the Rivers backline until the 90th minute of play,when the defending champions launched a counter attack which paid off with unmarked Onoja Joseph doubling the lead in the 91st minute .
With time drifting away for the final whistle of the match,goal thirsty Divine Nwachukwu rose above tall Rivers defenders to nod in a fine cross from Vincent Augustus to get
the consolation for Insurance a moment before the center referee ended the game.
This defeat marked the end of Insurance 21 match unbeaten run in the 2022/23 NPFL season and also threatened their chances of finishing among the top three for CAF Confederation Cup Champions League slots.
The Benin Arsenals need to beat Remo Stars in their last match on Sunday to get the CAF ticket.
However, Insurance have another opportunity to play at the continental level if they triumph over Rangers International of Enugu in the final match of the 2023 Federation Cup, scheduled to hold on June 21 in Asaba,Delta state.
Insurance finished as group A leaders with 34 points in the regular abridged league season on their return from the nation’s second tier league to set 21 match unbeaten record.
The Super 6 Play-off will end on Sunday,June 11 with Enyimba FC leading the pack though with equal 8 points with Rivers United.