By Ahmad Elnafaty
Doma United drop points as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Bendel Insurance at the Pantami Stadium, Gombe on Wednesday in a rescheduled Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) match.
Doma head coach Akinade Onigbinde urged more supporters to attend Wednesday’s NPFL encounter after 12,000 watched the Sunday’s Jewel/Savannah derby win over rivals Gombe United, and the attendance was back to near-capacity levels, as the hosts were left frustrated by an organized Bendel Insurance side.
The Savannah Tigers were so underwhelming in the opening 45 minutes that their most threatening attempt came from Andrew Majalisa’s wild effort that went well over.
Onigbinde would surely have given his team a stern half-time team talk and it appeared to work as the Savannah Tigers began the second half well, mounting more attacks with Sani Sulaiman who came in few minutes after the game restarted, took control of the midfield and had an effort over the bar, while Majalisa saw his powerful shot blocked by Bendel Insurance defender, Stephen Sodje.
Charles Terwar was handed 10 minutes to make an impact as he replaced the impressive Emmanuel Ekpeyong in the closing stages after Bendel Insurance had brought on Evans Ogbonda for Haruna Abubakar.
Doma goalkeeper Kingdom Osayi made an excellent block to keep out Chisom Okereke’s strike. Doma United captain, Haruna Aliyu steered arguably the best chance of the game wide in the dying stages. Both teams came close to finding a winner in stoppage-time as Ismail Sarki for Bendel Insurance also wasted a good chance from a counter-attack.
Both sides were looking to win the game as Sani Sulaiman curled wide and Bendel Insurance’s Ezekiel Tamara fluffed his lines late on with the goal at his mercy, but they were forced to settle for the draw.
What the coaches said
Bendel Insurance head coach Monday Odigie: “It was a tough game. For sure, it was very difficult. They are a very physical team and they tried to exploit set pieces in a very dangerous way. I think defensively we were good but at the same time, I think we can do much better with the ball to create more chances to score. The intensity was very high and there were many tackles but we knew what type of game we were coming to play. It’s a draw and I think it’s important when you cannot win, you take one point, and we did that.”
Doma United head coach Akinade Onigbinde: “It was a big battle. Both teams wanted to win, and it was a really competitive match. They had some moments in the first half and we had the biggest moments in the second half, but to make the difference you need to score when we had the big chances we had. It was a big test for us and I think the team turned up and showed how much they wanted to win the game.”
Next for both teams
On Matchday 8, Doma United play on Saturday when they host Akwa United at the Pantami Stadium from 3pm. Bendel Insurance are back in action on Sunday, November 12, 2023 when they travel to Kaduna to face Niger Tornadoes at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.