Bendel Insurance are now one leg out of the 2023-2024 CAF Confederation Cup as they failed to beat their visitors, RS Berkane, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin on Saturday, September 16.
Bendel Insurance were expected to beat the Moroccan club in the first leg and also ensure that they didn’t concede goals, but none of the objectives worked for the Nigerian team. Instead, it ended up becoming a four-goal thriller.
The Benin Arsenal took the lead as early as in the 28th minute of the encounter via the boots of Imade Osarenkhoe, which gave the spectators at the stadium the hope that the Moroccan side had no chance.
Unfortunately, the Moroccan side found their way back before the end of the first half to go into the break with a 1-1 draw which was no good news for the Nigerian team.
In the second half, Bendel Insurance continued to show a lot of promise, especially in attack but continued to show flaws in defence. The two teams fought to hold their own in the game, but it was the Nigerian side that got the first laugh.
Substitute Vincent Augustus restored Bendel Insurance’s lead, but that didn’t last for too long before RS Berkane equalized as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
This means that Bendel Insurance are condemned to win the second leg in Morocco next weekend to stand a chance of qualifying for the next round. They can also scale through if they can grab a 3-3 draw.
As for Berkane, the Moroccan side needs just a 0-0 draw to scale through to the next round, thanks to away goal rules.
If the Benin Arsenal are knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup next weekend, Nigeria will have just River United to bank on in terms of continental football this season.