Bendel Insurance ended a 43-year wait for a domestic title on Wednesday after beating Enugu rangers 1-0 to claim the 2023 federation cup title as well as a prize of N15m at the Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba.
A first-half penalty by Osarenkhoe Imade was all that mattered for the Benin arsenal to claim their fourth federation cup title and also picked the last continental ticket to represent Nigeria in next season’s CAF confederation cup.
As two of the traditional sides in the country, insurance and rangers faced off in the final for the third time in the competition’s history having met in the 1978 and 1981 finals. In their previous two clashes in the final, insurance won the 1978 edition 3-0, while rangers avenged the loss with a 2-0 triumph three years later.
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The benin arsenal recorded an unprecedented 21-game unbeaten run in the league but finished fifth in the season-ending super 6 playoffs.
Their previous three federation cup titles were won in 1972, 1978 and 1980.
Before the men’s game, 2021 champions, bayelsa queens, retained the women’s crown and their second federation cup title after edging rivals rivers angels 4-2 on penalties to take home the grand prize of n10m.
After regulation time ended goalless, the game went straight into a shootout with Bayelsa queens converting four of theirs.