Bendel Insurance ended a 28-year wait for a trophy after pipping 10-man Enugu Rangers 1-0 to lift the Federations Cup on Wednesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.
The victory sees the Edo Arsenal pick the final ticket for teams representing Nigeria on the continent. They will be joining Rivers United as the second Nigerian club side to feature in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
Insurance’s star player all season Imade Osarenkhoe scored the only goal of the encounter from the penalty spot in the 45th minute sending goalkeeper Detan Ogundare the wrong way.
Chinemerem Ugwueze, the culprit for the penalty was sent off for a second bookable offense, a situation that gave Insurance an advantage they gladly took.
The trophy will serve as consolation for Insurance who failed to pick the Nigeria Premier Football League trophy during the championships playoffs in Lagos despite going unbeaten during the regular season.
Reacting to the victory, head coach Monday Odigie said winning the Federations Cup, Nigeria’s oldest football trophy was the best way for the team to end their season.
“It’s been a very long season for us and I can describe my excitement for winning the Federations Cup trophy. We were the best team in this competition and we won deservedly. I want to thank the government of Edo State for standing by us all through the season, this is for them and every Insurance fan,” Odigie said after the match.
“This is just the beginning for us, we have to prepare better for next season which is going to be equally tough as we’ll be playing in the CAF Confederation Cup as well as fighting for every point in the NPFL.”