There was a sigh of relief at the Pantami Stadium after the final whistle as The Savannah Tigers sealed their first win in the Nigeria Premier Football League following their 1-0 triumph over Dakkada FC.
Thousands of fans as usual rushed to the stadium to see Akinade’s side triumph thanks to a goal from new signing Emmanuel Luke Ogwuche early in the second half.
Ogwuche’s goal ensured it was a winning homecoming for United after he bundled the ball pass Dakkada’s goalkeeper in a melee that Dakkada’s defence failed to clear in the 59th minutes of the game.
The winger, who until Sunday’s game hasn’t played an NPFL game, bundled home from close range to become the second United player to score a Premier League goal since Chibuke’s header in the opener against Sunshine Stars a week ago.
The win will definitely get them up and running after a home draw against Sunshine on the opening weekend and an away defeat at Niger Tornadoes, on this evidence, Akinade’s men are going to be a welcome addition to the Nigeria top flight football.
United fans were made to wait by Sunshine in the opening game (after that painful late equalizer) to sing their famous anthem ‘Sai Doma” in an NPFL match and the team put in a performance worthy of the wait, producing a spine-tingling atmosphere at the Pantami Stadium.
Though they made a slow start in the opening 15 minutes, playing with low intensity but their forward movement mostly conjured by Hillary Ekawu gave Dakkada a reason to always track back.
Dakkada’s goalkeeper Thomas Omokhudu had to be alert to gather Ogwuche’s left-footed low shot before Haruna Aliyu flashed a header just wide from a long throw by Hillary, earlier in the game.
Hillary’s long throwing seems to unsettled Dakkada’s defense line and Doma United and Hillary seems to be enjoying the throw as they mounted pressure on the visitors.
Doma United thought they’ve taken the lead after one of Hillary’s long throws was headed in by Haruna Aliyu but the goal was disallowed after he was adjudged to have committed a foul in the buildup to the goal.
The home side dominated the game all through the first half. They threw in all their arsenals as they went in search of a goal but Dakkada’s resilient defending kept them at bay for the mean time.
The deadlock was broken on the 59th minutes after Emmanuel Ogwuche latched onto a loosed ball that the visitors failed to clear and send the Pantami stadium into rapturous celebration.
Doma United were not satisfied with a slim lead as they went all out in search of a second goal but Dakkada defended well to keep the score at 1-0 until the final whistle.
United’s Technical Adviser, Akinade Onigbinde expressed his happiness as the team picked its first win of the season
“I am very happy, we are very happy with the result, it is a good result. We worked hard for it and the boys worked for it”
On what the first win means for the team, Akinade said “It is a very good win and it will be a morale booster to prepare well ahead of our trip to Wikki Tourist next weekend”.
On his part, the goal scorer Emmanuel Luke Ogwuche who is making his NPFL debut couldn’t hide his excitement after scoring the winner “As you can see, this is my debut in the NPFL and I am very happy to have scored the goal and a winner for that matter. If I have the opportunity, I will score more goals for Doma as I will continue working hard. My dream was to play in the NPFL and I wish to thank Doma United for making my dream come true. I will do everything I can to always represent this club well, when given the opportunity.” He said.
Attention and preparation now shifts towards matchday four tie against Wikki Tourist in Bauchi on Sunday 29th January, 2023 at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.