July 5, 2022

FIFA WCQ: Nigeria to stick with Okoye in goal despite AFCON horror

By Allan Damba
Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye | Courtesy Image

Nigeria has vowed to stick with goalkeeper Maduka Okoye in goal head of their 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff with Ghana, despite his poor display in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria were knocked out by Tunisia at the Round of 16 of the competition hosted by Cameroon early this year.

The Sparta Rotterdam custodian was culpable for Youseff Msakini’s goal that eliminated the Super Eagles in their 1-0 loss to Tunisia, with many fans insisting he never gets called up again.

However, first assistant coach Emmanuel Amuneke has revealed that the coaching team is not thinking of stripping the 22 year old of his status as the number one goalkeeper.

“I’m not a goalkeeper trainer, but we have someone in that department, which is Alloy Agu,” the former Barcelona winger was quoted by www.soccernet.ng on Tuesday.

“Regardless, Maduka Okoye is a good goalkeeper and a human being, so we can’t because of one mistake dump (him),” added the Super Eagles legend.

“He’s playing well for his team (Sparta), and that’s the most important thing,” Amuneke concluded.

Okoye has earned 13 international caps for Nigeria since making his debut under erstwhile head coach Gernot Rohr in a 1-1 friendly match against Brazil on October 13th, 2019.

Nigeria visit Ghana at the Cape Coast Stadium on March 25 before the return leg four days later at the Abuja National Stadium.

The victor between the two will join four other playoff winners to represent Africa at the Qatar edition of football’s greatest showdown.

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