Bendel Insurance were held to a 2-2 by RS Berkane of Morocco in their CAF Confederation Cup second-round first-leg match played in Benin City on Saturday, www.aclsports.com reports.
Forward Imade Osarenkhoe, who got the only goal at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium last time out, grabbed the opener midway through the game before the visitors equalized just before the break. Similarly, Vincent Augustus got Insurance’s lead back but the visitors found the leveller once again to leave the stadium the happier side ahead of the return leg in Morocco in two weeks’ time.
Just like the fans did in the previous round against ASO Chlef, it was a full house at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as Bendel Insurance took to the pitch for just their second continental home game since 2005.
Meanwhile, coach Monday Odigie continued with the partnership of Ezekiel Tamara and Kelly Kester at the heart of the midfield, while defender Stanley Okorom, made a return to the squad after missing the trip to Algeria. Imade was partnered in attack by Jude Ebohon.
It was the visitors who were looking at getting the game’s first goal on the wet playing pitch. Insurance goalkeeper Amas Obasogie came off his line to claim a dangerous-looking ball and moments later, after some miscommunication between his defenders, the goalkeeper had to react quickly and sniff out the danger.
From that moment on, Bendel took charge of the game and kept pushing for the opener. Paul Obata had a fine attempt from a freekick saved by goalkeeper Amine El-Ouaad before Imade eventually put the Benin Arsenal in front with a well-taken goal. Defender Benjamin Tanimu’s long-range attempt was dropped by Amine into Imade’s path, leaving the striker with a simple finish to make.
Ten minutes later, the Orange boys found themselves level. A bit of poor communication among the Insurance backline allowed striker Oussama Lamiloui the opportunity to get his side a well-deserved away goal
After the break, Insurance stepped it up and at the hour mark. Augustus made it 2-1 in favour of the home side. However, Insurance could not see out the game, allowing the 2022 CAF Confed Cup Champions RS Berkane to grab a second away goal in the tie – Mohamed El Morabit scored the goal with just seven minutes of normal time to play.
🚨A mountain to climb for Bendel Insurance in Morocco.
Took the lead twice but couldn’t keep their own. For a backline so strong, two goals conceded in Nigeria is not a good tonic.
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) September 16, 2023
Insurance, who now have a mountain to climb after the result in Benin on Saturday, will be in Morocco in a fortnight for the second leg of this fixture against Berkane. The winner on aggregate will secure a place in the group stages of the competition.