The Nigeria National League 2021/2022 football season kicked off today, Friday, February 11,2022 as scheduled with Bendel Insurance FC of Benin sharing the spoils with Vandrezzer FC of Lagos.
The match being the league opener and first ever meeting between the hosts and visitors ended in a barren draw after several goal attempts and quality display by both sides could not produce any goal.
Inspite of the absence of goals,the chairman of Bendel Insurance FC and Deputy Governor of Edo state Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu who watched the match live at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos gave a thumbs up for both teams. He said that he was impressed and satisfied with the quality of the game.
According to the sports loving Edo Deputy Governor, both teams played good football and have something in common.
” I am impressed with not just the two teams Insurance and Vandrezzer but I am also impressed with the officiating.
It is not just about winning. If we have this kind of officiating all through, then,Insurance is sure of securing promotion to NPFL this season. The game should be a standard for all.
” NNL need to maintain the standard going forward. ” Shaibu advised.
He believes Insurance FC and Vandrezzer FC can collaborate to help raise the standard of the Nigeria Leagues capable of raising players for the national teams.
Speaking during the post match interview,Coach Monday Odigie of Bendel Insurance FC said it is a task for him and team to deliver.
“Every team that goes into every competition is tasked to have its goals and objectives. Every team wants to try and move from where they are to the next level and Bendel Insurance with a lot of fans in the country will only get better and see how we can put everything together and God willing, they will get to where they want to be.
Bendel Insurance is a team that the owner wants to make a role model team. It is not all about winning anyhow, but winning fairly and that’s what Bendel Insurance want to do. If you look at the game today, the level of discipline was high, and that’s exactly what they want from the team.”
“Some big teams are not in the premier league in their country, but they are playing good football in Europe, that’s what the government wants to do;trying to give a good level playing ground for the youths to have participation and while you are participating, you have to get one objective and that’s to get to the next stage; Insurance deserves to be where the big clubs are and that’s what we are trying to do.” Odigie maintained.
Coach Henry Makinwa of Vandrezzer while also speaking hailed Insurance FC strong character.
“It was a highly contested game, we played against a senior side, a very good and highly experienced side. The lads did their best, but we were unlucky to score.”
“I’m not disappointed, we had one or two problems, but what I can tell you is that we played a good side and we gave a very good fight.”
“In this modern age, I wouldn’t understand why a referee will stop a game eight minutes before the time, he knew why he did that, but I won’t say anything about it.” He said.
Meanwhile,there was a mild drama towards the end of the first half of the game as the centre referee ended the half in 37 minutes until the match commissioner ordered him to let the game continue till 45 minutes. The reason for his action is yet unknown.
The Benin Arsenal will play host to their neighbours J.Atete FC of Delta state next week end at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium. #