High-flying Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) side Bendel Insurance have ended the dreams of three-time Nigerian cup champions Heartland in the Round of 16 of the 2023 Federation Cup.
A 47th-minute strike by Ismael Sarki decided the game at the Akwa City Stadium in Anambra as the ‘Benin Arsenal’ secured a hard-fought win to progress to the quarter-finals.
Following their 1-0 result, Bendel Insurance will now proceed to the quarterfinals alongside seven others, as they continue to make a historic match for their first cup title in 43 years.
The Benin side are also three-time champions of the Federation Cup having won the championship in 1972, 1978 and 1980.
Meanwhile, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, NPFL side Sunshine Stars overcame NNL club side EFCC FC in a thrilling 3-2 game to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Sunshine Stars had on the final day of the NPFL season over the weekend, secured a place in the Super 6 playoffs to compete for the league title.
In the other games played, Kwara United defeated Nasarawa United by a lone goal while Warri Wolves halted the progress of Gombe United with another 1-0 win.
Enugu Rangers showed their superiority over FC Ebiede with a 3-2 win just as Plateau United defeated Ingas FC 3-1.
Doma United who had an impressive season defeated Edel FC 2-1 while the game between Bendel Insurance feeders and Lobi Stars was halted by heavy downpour at 36 minutes.
Lobi Stars were losing 2-1 and will have the chance to take control of the game when it is continued today.