By Sedara Philip
Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin, Saturday,began the 2023/2024 CAF Confederation Cup with a 1-0 victory over ASO Chlef of Algeria in Benin.
Insurance forward, Imade Osarenkhoe scored the only goal of the match in the 42nd minute to send the home crowd into jubilation
at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium to the delight of the Governor of Edo state Mr Godwin Obaseki who watched the entire game.
The Benin Arsenals will have to do extra work to keep themselves in front when they visit the Algerian side to cross last hurdle of the first preliminary match of the continental engagements.
Insurance had wasted three glaring scoring chances within the 30 minutes of play before Osarenkhoe connected a free kick taken by Sunday Anyanwu to give the Nigerian side the lead ahead of the revised fixture on August 27 in Algeria.
Abdurrahim Hamra of AS Chlef received the first yellow card in the match for rough tackle against Zaidu Ayuba at the centre of the field; the foul that led to the goal.
Gape Mohutsiwa of the Algerian club received the second booking for another rough tackle shortly before the half time.
The second half resumed with Insurance picking up from their first half performance, but were matched by the visitors who stepped up their game and became more tactical in search of an equalizer which they never got
Notwithstanding, Sarki Ismael of Insurance came close to another goal in the 62 minutes, but his nod slightly went wide.
Bendel Insurance will travel to Algeria for the revised fixture to seek a consolidation to qualify for the second round of the competition.
In his post-match interview, Coach Monday Odigie of Insurance said his team would work on their goal scoring before the return leg.
He praised his players effort to maintain the lead to the end.