In a captivating week nineteen fixture of the Nigeria Premier Football League, Doma United and Rivers United battled to a 1-1 draw at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.
Doma United struggled to find their footing early in the game, unable to match Rivers United’s intensity as the visitors comfortably sat deep and executed swift counter-attacks. The first notable opportunity came for Abiam Nelson, whose attempted volley with a weaker left foot sailed wide.
The first half saw a cautious affair, with Doma struggling to break down Rivers’ compact defense. In a turning point, Sani Suleiman lost possession inside Rivers’ half, leading to a swift counter. Bernard Kouassi capitalized, driving in to give Rivers United a 1-0 lead in the 4th added minute of the first half.
Returning for the second half, Doma United displayed renewed determination, launching relentless attacks on Rivers United’s defense. Samuel Enefiok’s brilliant shot tested the goalkeeper, but it was saved. Saifullahi’s right-footed effort from a tight angle was pushed out for a corner kick.
Manager Akinade Onigbinde made strategic substitutions, introducing Usman Musa and Charles Terwar for Bidemi Owoku and Sani Suleiman. Usman Musa came close to equalizing with a powerful header that struck the crossbar.
Umar Adamu joined the action, replacing Hillary Ekawu. Doma United continued to press, and their efforts paid off in the dying moments. Nelson Abiam executed an outrageous bicycle kick, beating the goalkeeper and leveling the scores right before the final whistle, sending the Pantami crowd into jubilation.
Doma coach Akinade Onigbinde acknowledged the missed opportunities but expressed satisfaction with the draw. “We created a lot of chances but couldn’t take them, and when you do that, you risk getting punished,” he said. “But we’re okay with the draw and will keep working on improving our scoring.”
The result leaves Doma in third place on the table, behind the leading duo of Lobi Stars and Remo Stars. Both sides will be in action tomorrow, but for Doma, their focus will already be shifting to the February 4th rematch against Rivers United in Port Harcourt, where they’ll be keen to settle the score and keep their title challenge alive.