Visiting Niger Tornadoes held Bendel Insurance to a goalless draw at the UNIBEN Sports Complex in Benin City in a Matchday 17 tie on Saturday.
In a largely uninspiring first half, both teams found it really difficult to break the ice.
However, Tornadoes got the first chance of the game 12 minutes in when Sadick Abass found his way into the box, but his pass was quickly cleared out by the Insurance back line.
The visitors were forced into an early change in the 23rd minute when Hassan Saba replaced injured defender Jibrin Mustapha. Two minutes later, Tornadoes were all over their hosts. Mubarak Said dribbled his way into the Insurance box, but he was swiftly dispossessed by Daniel Johnson.
Fourteen minutes to the end of the first half, Insurance forward Imade Osarenkhoe nicked the ball off a Tornadoes defender but his pass into the box was cleared out for a corner.
Tornadoes goalkeeper Mustapha Aliko was called into action in the 39th minute, saving from Imade Osarenkhoe who outmuscled Olayinka Yusuf off the ball. Yusuf would later go into the referee’s book for time wasting two minutes later.
Insurance started the second half with an early change as Michael Enaruna replaced an ineffective Abraham Ovwiomodiohwo just after Aliko had kept out Benjamin Tanimu’s cross.
With both teams searching for a goal to break the deadlock, Moses Ugwu arguably the brightest in the Tornadoes line-up, tried his luck from long range, but his shot went just wide off the post, much to the relief of fans present at the UNIBEN Sports Complex.
In the 70th minute, the home side got a free kick at the edge of the box, but substitute Michael Enaruna sent his effort inches over the bar, to the dismay of spectators.
The game gathered momentum in the last 15 minutes with the home side all over the Ikon Allah boys. The visitors however did well to clear their lines as they held on to an all important draw in Benin.