Bendel Insurance from Benin secured advancement to the subsequent phase of the CAF Confederations Cup following a thrilling victory over ASO Chlef of Algeria, with a 4-3 triumph in a penalty shootout, as reported by Sunday PUNCH.
In the initial leg of the preliminary round, Benin Arsenal secured a 1-0 victory with Imade Osarenkhoe netting a goal in the 42nd minute at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.
The second leg of the first qualifying round concluded with a 1-0 scoreline at the Salem Mabrouki Stadium in Algeria, nullifying Insurance’s initial leg triumph.
The Algerian team commenced the second leg on home turf aggressively, yet they struggled to break through until they were granted a penalty in the 31st minute. However, Amas Obasogie, the goalkeeper for Insurance, made a crucial save.
Eventually, the home team managed to take the lead ten minutes later through a cleverly executed goal from a deflected low cross.
In the second half, Insurance bravely stood their ground against their opponents, with the latter’s poor finishing late in the game also working in Insurance’s favor, leading the match to proceed to a penalty shootout.
In the penalty shootout, Paul Obata’s attempt hit the crossbar, causing him to miss Insurance’s third kick. Nevertheless, Obasogie, the goalkeeper, saved ASO Chief’s fourth kick, and the fifth taker’s shot rebounded off the crossbar. This brought about exuberant celebrations from the Bendel Insurance team on the opposing team’s field.
This triumph maintains Insurance’s impeccable record of never losing a first-round match in continental competitions, marking their sixth consecutive first-round victory.
Under the leadership of Monday Odigie, the team will now confront Morocco’s RS Berkane in the ensuing round, contending for a position in the highly rewarding group stage of the competition.
Looking forward, Benin Arsenal is set to face off against the reigning 2022 champions, RS Berkane, in the forthcoming round scheduled for the following month.
The victor of this two-legged encounter will secure their spot in the coveted group stage of the tournament.