By Ahmad Elnafaty
Doma United moved one point clear at the top of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) table after a 1-0 victory over Niger Tornadoes at the Pantami Stadium, marking a seventh consecutive unbeaten game for the Savannah Tigers.
The hosts were ahead in the first half through Nelson Abiam who headed the ball home from Hilary Ekawu’s cross before the break. The goal was counted as his third goal of the season. Abiam had previously scored against Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) and Akwa United.
The visitors had a mountain to climb against the hosts in the second half, especially considering Doma United’s formidable defence and impressive performance by their goalkeeper Kingdom Osayi in recent matches, having kept eight clean sheets in his previous matches. With Akinade Onigbinde’s men holding a goal advantage, the contest headed towards a second half lull.
Suddenly, the game was sparked into life after Bidemi Owoku saw his effort blocked in an unforeseen end-to-end finale. Ultimately, Doma United held on for what largely looked like a comfortable victory, reclaiming the top spot of the NPFL while Niger Tornadoes dropped to 18th.
Doma United head coach Akinade said: “It was a really tough match, but at least we got our three points and that is what is more important. Our players played very well though the visitors came on us after breaking the deadlock. But we tried to absorb them and we wasted two good scoring chances from counter-attack, but we will work on that.”
When asked about their expectation ahead of their next match against Kwara United, Akinade added that they are working on that and hopefully they are going to pick a point or three points in Ilorin.
Niger Tornadoes head coach, Hamza Abara, said: “We came with a game plan, but due to some tactical reasons we lost. I must commend my boys because they played according to our plan and we are okay with the performance. Despite the loss, this is one of the best games my players gave me and I am proud of them.”
Doma United travel to Ilorin to face Kwara United in midweek while Niger Tornadoes play hosts to Remo Stars.