The Nigerian Premier Football League matchday four began on Saturday with two games played in Benin and Uyo.
The biggest game of the weekend was the top-table clash between Bendel Insurance and Remo Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.
While many had anticipated a keen contest, Insurance with a ruthless performance trounced the visiting Remo Stars 3-0 to extend their perfect start to the season.
Though Remo Stars are yet to defeat Bendel Insurance at home in their last seven encounters, their present form suggested they could do something different this time.
That was not to be as Benin Gunners romped to the 3-0 win that has seen them shoot to the top spot in Group A.
Before Saturday’s game, Remo Stars had kept clean sheets in all their matches this season, but their watertight defence was breached by Imade Osarenkhoe who scored Insurance’s first goal.
That early-minute strike made it four goals in as many games for Imade.
Imade was also involved in the second goal from Ismael Sarki who benefitted from Kayode Bankole’s howler.
The hosts then scored the third goal from substitute, Austin Ogunye who converted Divine Nwachukwu’s nicely placed pass in the 78th minute.
Bendel Insurance were quick with the business of the day and in the fifth minute, Imade Osarenkhoe tapped home a drop ball from Osas Okoro’s corner kick.
It was the Uniben graduate’s fourth consecutive goal of the season.
About 10 minutes later, Remo Stars got themselves settled in the match, but Andy Okpe’s attempt was saved by Goalkeeper Amas Obasogie.
The search for an equaliser continued for the Sky Blue Stars, whose effort from Okon Anekwe went off target in the 25th minute.
A minute later, Bendel Insurance doubled the lead following a buildup play that saw Imade hitting the ball towards goalkeeper Bankole Kayode who howled before Sarki Ismael hijacked the ball and slotted home. It was the midfielder’s second goal of the season.
At the cusps of the first half, Anekeme’s header following a free kick from Seun Ogunribide was parried by Amas.
Two minutes into the second half, Imade’s outside shot was easily saved by Kayode Bankole.
And five minutes before the hour mark, Seth Mayi came in for Okon Anekeme as the Sky Blue Stars sought to get back into the game.
A minute later, Mayi’s long pass to Andy Okpe forced goalkeeper Amas Obasogie to clear the attack to a throw-in.
However, Bendel Insurance, being compact with their defence, kept the visitors at bay despite the pressure in the second half.
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And in the 69th minute, Deputy Echeta’s shot was pulled out by Bankole before Imade’s rebound for Bendel’s prospective third goal hit the woodwork.
Two minutes later, Bankole parried Divine Nwachukwu’s freekick.
There was finally a third goal for Insurance in the 78th minute as Austin Ogunye sealed another victory for the hosts.
Elsewhere, Rivers United defeated Dakkada in a 2-1 comeback victory at the south-southern derby played at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.
The hosts were in front after Isaac George struck home following a gaffe from the goalkeeper, Seidu Mutawakilu, in the 16th minute.
But the Pride of Rivers restored parity from Nyima Nwagua in the 35th minute.
Afterwards, Naibe Akpesiri gave the visitors the lead at the cusp of the first half and they held on to the advantage till the final whistle was sounded.
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