By Ahmad Elnafaty

Ahmed Jimoh continued his hot streak as his instinctive finish clinched Gombe United an important win over Bendel Insurance. The Gombe club won 1-0 at the Pantami Stadium in Sunday’s early kick-off.

The game ended goalless in the first 45 minutes. Gombe United started the second half strongly and deservedly took the lead in the 51st minute when Jimoh swept home a right-footed finish into the bottom corner from Mustapha Jibrin’s pass.

The goal inflicted a first defeat of the season on Bendel Insurance who went unbeaten in the regular season last term.

Bendel Insurance were fantastic in the closing stages of the match as they pegged Gombe United in their half. However the home side stayed composed, defended well and managed the game to ensure there was no room for error.

Gombe United head coach Mohammed Baba Ganaru described the match as good and difficult at the same time. He reserved some kind words for their opponents who he portrayed as “one of the best teams we have in Nigeria.”

Baba Ganaru is happy that his team stopped Insurance from sewing up another run of unbeaten like they did last season.

“So far so good, as usual we have to thank God for everything, it was a very good match and a very difficult one. Insurance is a team that I respect so much. They’re one of the best teams we have in Nigeria, from what they achieved last season a team that comes from the lower division to Premier league to play about 18 matches unbeaten.

“But since we started building the team that faced them today we set our minds that we are going to stop their unbeaten run and we achieved it. The win is a big motivation to the team because it is a new team. We are doing checks and balance and definitely the team is improving and I believe our next game against Plateau United is also going to be a win,” the Gombe United coach said.

Rather than feel disappointed, Bendel Insurance head coach Monday Odigie as usual downplayed the loss and dwelt on his team’s performance.

His next line of plan is to work on the team’s lapses ahead of their next match against Akwa United on October 29.

“It’s not about the result, for a coach, it’s about how the team perform. This is not the result we wanted but it’s a game of football sometimes you win, sometimes you draw and sometimes you lose. We noted down the positives and negatives and we look forward to the next game,” said Odigie.

What next?

Gombe United are next in action when they play hosts to Plateau United on Sunday, October 29 in a Matchday 5 fixture at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe. Bendel Insurance will host bottom-placed Akwa United on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

David NPFL
October 22, 2023
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