In a nail-biting final match, Doma United emerged as champions of the 2023 Gusau/Ahlan Preseason Tournament after securing a hard-fought 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Plateau United.
Doma United, a team that finished 5th in group B of the Nigeria Premier Football League last season, showed their determination throughout the tournament. Placed in group A alongside Kano Pillars, Mailantarki Care FC, and Wikki Tourist, United managed to secure a 3rd place finish in the group.
As the tournament progressed, Doma United’s performance gained momentum. The team’s remarkable journey to the final involved a dominant 6-2 victory over Adamawa FC in the quarterfinals, followed by a gritty 1-0 win against NPFL returnees Katsina United in the semifinals.
The final encounter against Plateau United proved to be a fierce battle, with both teams failing to break the deadlock during regular play. Countless scoring opportunities went begging on both ends, resulting in a goalless draw at the end of normal time.
In a dramatic turn of events before the penalty shootout, Doma United’s Technical Adviser, Akinade Onigbinde, made a strategic substitution, replacing Kingdom Osayi with Mamman Abraham as the goalkeeper. Abraham’s heroics were pivotal as he made two crucial penalty saves, securing Doma United’s victory and the championship title.
After the intense match, Coach Akinade Onigbinde expressed his admiration for the players’ commitment to the club’s objectives in the competition. He highlighted the team’s collective understanding of their goals and commended their dedication to achieving them. Onigbinde emphasized that the team’s focus would now shift towards rigorous preparation for the upcoming season.
The standout performer of the final, Mamman Abraham, humbly credited the coaching staff for instilling belief in him. He acknowledged that his success was not solely due to his individual abilities but was a result of the trust and encouragement bestowed upon him by the coaching team.
It’s worth noting that Mamman Abraham had previously showcased his shot-stopping prowess in April, making a vital save against Gombe United that contributed to Doma United’s victory in the Gombe State FA Cup trophy.
The Gusau/Ahlan Preseason Tournament victory sets a positive tone for the Tiger’s exploit in the upcoming Nigeria Premier Football League season.