Bendel Insurance have eliminated Algerian side ASO Chlef from this year’s CAF Confederation Cup after their tie was decided on penalties on Saturday, www.aclsports.com reports.
The first leg of this first-round qualifier ended in a slim win for Bendel Insurance, but the Algerians were able to replicate that result before it went to a shootout, where goalkeeper Amas Obasogie made a crucial stop to help the Benin Arsenals progress 4-3.
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.@BendelInsurance edge ASO Chlef 4-3 on penalties after it finished 1-1 on aggregate to book their spot in the final qualifying round.
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— Engineer Kowope (@Undisputed_Jsam) August 26, 2023
Insurance coach Monday Odigie made a couple of changes to his side from the first leg in Benin with Kelly Kester, who had earlier exercised some belief about the game, handed his full debut at the expense of skipper Maurice Prince, while Hussaini Abdullahi also replaced Stanley Okorom at the right-back position.
Unexpectedly, it was not a full house at the Salem Mabrouki Stadium, Rouiba as ASO Chlef started on the front foot while trying to unsettle the Insurance side. Defensive stalwarts Benjamin Tanimu and Sunday Anyanwu kept the attackers at bay early on and they eventually settled into the game.
Although they were solid at the back, the Benin side lacked the composure to create any meaningful chance upfront despite finding themselves in decent positions. At the other end, goalkeeper Obasogie continued to come to their rescue during the moments of intense pressure.
Midway through the game, the Algerians were awarded a penalty and Obasogie made a spectacular stop to deny them from going in front. Just minutes before the break, the hosts eventually got their goal after a mix-up in the area to level the tie 1-1 on aggregate.
In the second half, the 2023 Federation Cup winners gave it their all and were able to prevent the Algerians from getting a second goal as the eventually went to the lottery of penalties. Having saved one during the game, Obasogie made another stop, while another spot-kick from the hosts crashed against the crossbar, as Insurance zoomed into the next round.
After seeing off ASO Chlef, Insurance will now face 2022 champions RS Berkane of Morocco over two legs for a place in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup group stages next month.