In a thrilling showdown on Saturday, Doma United emerged victorious over Kano Pillars with a narrow 1-0 win on Match Day 13 of the Nigeria Premier Football League to regain top spot of the NPFL log.
The decisive moment came in the 11th minute when Emmanuel Ekpenyong capitalized on a defensive lapse by Kano Pillars, slotting home with precision. This marked Ekpenyong’s second goal of the season, with his first one coming against Gombe United earlier in the campaign.
Doma United showcased an impressive start to the game, with Ekpenyong and Charles Terwar creating problems for Pillars’ defense. Although Emmanuel Jesam had a prime opportunity, his flicked attempt narrowly missed the mark.
A pivotal moment arrived when Jesam seized the ball from a defender, initiating a sequence that led to Ekpenyong’s goal. Unfortunately for Doma United, their captain Haruna Aliyu suffered a head injury in a collision with Kano Pillars defender, forcing him to be substituted. Adamu Umar Adah made his debut for the team as Aliyu’s replacement.
Jesam had a chance to extend Doma United’s lead to 2-0 but faltered from the penalty spot after Ekpenyong was brought down inside the box. Kano Pillars’ challenges intensified as Fahad Usman received a second yellow card, resulting in a red card and reducing them to 10 men.
Sani Suleiman had a golden opportunity to widen the lead for Doma United, but a vigilant Pillars defender blocked his shot for a corner kick.
Despite playing with a numerical disadvantage, Kano Pillars dominated the second half, launching numerous attempts at goal. However, Kingdom Osayi’s steadfast goalkeeping denied Pillars the chance to level the score.
In a strategic move, Doma United made three substitutions in the second half, introducing Bidemi Owoku, Manga Jacob, and Kazeem Abdulrafiu for Charles Terwar, Emmanuel Jesam, and Sani Suleiman, respectively.
The only booking of the game for Doma United was handed to Nelson Abiam earlier in the match, adding to the drama of an already intense encounter.
Doma United’s hard-fought victory positions them on the summit of the Nigeria Premier Football League standings, while Kano Pillars will reflect on missed opportunities in a game that saw them play with a numerical disadvantage for a significant duration.