Ageless striker Charles Omokaro scored a controversial penalty in the 97th minute to give Insurance of Benin a 2-1 win over Shooting Stars in their Nigeria National League (NNL) group B1 top-of-the-table clash concluded on Monday morning.
After two postponements, the problematic fixture eventually got underway at the University of Benin Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon with the visitors from Ibadan taking a shock lead through Mutiu Olawale in the 2nd minute. The game was however discontinued at half time, and rescheduled for Monday morning after a heavy downpour rendered the pitch unplayable.
At the resumption of play today, Insurance got their equaliser eight minutes after the restart when a defensive mix-up at the Shooting Stars back line was well punished by the hosts to set up a tense finale to the game.
More controversies steered when ten minutes were added by the match officials led by Thomas Nwite from Abuja at the end of the regulation time. Nwite then pointed to the spot for an apparent handball incident against Stars’ Lucky Jimoh in the third minute of stoppage time.
After some protests by the visiting team, Omokaro, who had come on as a second half replacement converted to put Insurance in front for the first time in the game. Monday Odigie’s wards held on, importantly for their win.
With the victory, Insurance have overtaken Shooting Stars on the top of the NNL B1 table and will wrap up the season with a trip to basement side Spartans at the Agege Township Stadium on Wednesday.