By Ahmad Elnafaty
Nelson Abiam scored for Doma United as Akwa United suffered their first defeat in 9 years at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.
The last time the Promise Keepers left Gombe with a defeat was in August of 2014 when Doma United’s city rivals, Gombe United knocked them down 2-0.
This time, Doma United needed just a solitary goal from their defender, Abiam in the 18th minute to edge past Akwa United in Saturday’s fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL).
Doma United created numerous chances as they dominated the game before Abiam broke the deadlock in the 18th minute. The defender volleyed home from 12 yards after Akwa United failed to clear Sani Sulaiman’s cross. A perfect moment for Abiam to score his first goal of the season.
It was a sluggish start by Akwa United and they never really found their rhythm throughout an insipid first-half performance in which Seyi Oguntayo and their skipper David Phillip had plenty of the ball but were unable to progress through a well-organised Akinade Onigbinde’s men.
The introduction of Mubarak Said for Kabir Osoba after half-time helped to get Akwa United playing without really making a headway in the final third.
Despite all of Akwa United’s industry in the second half to salvage something out of the contest, their goalkeeper Nurudeen Badmos denied Charles Terwar. Akwa United were limited to just two shots on target in 90 minutes.
Doma United head coach, Onigbinde was happy with the outcome and believes his team navigated through the difficult periods of the game well.
“So proud. It was the moment with the right people and the right players. We knew we would have to suffer and we did that. You need a big performance and the crowd too. It feels like a big win.
“I think the way we started we conceded the corner and then we gained some control and in the second half we started really good. We were there and really aggressive.
“Akwa give you a lot of problems and we gave them a lot of issues as well. It is not easy to get out. You need the right timing, the right movement, the right moments. I like the courage.
“You are going to have these hard moments against this team. You have to be direct and manage the emotions and make sure you don’t get caught against this team,” said Onigbinde.
What is next?
Doma United host Plateau United on Saturday November 18, 2023 at the Pantami Stadium from 3pm while Akwa United host Remo Stars at the Eket Stadium.