AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Advocates Support for Underfire Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho

AFCON 2023: Super Eagles Legend Advocates Support for Underfire Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
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Super Eagles
South Africa
Francis Uzoho logo
F. Uzoho
Omonia Nicosia FC logoGNigeria logo
  • The formal kick-off of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast is imminent
  • Scepticism has continued over the Super Eagles' goalkeeping department
  • A Super Eagles legend has backed Francis Uzoho during a recent interview

The countdown to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues in full swing, with Ivory Coast all set to welcome the rest of the continent in a few days' time.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are among the numerous nations tipped to go far at the tournament.

Many largely consider Jose Peseiro’s men contenders this year due to the jaw-dropping attacking line-up possessed by the West African nation.

Francis Uzoho, AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Alloy Agu
Francis Uzoho in action during the friendly match between Portugal and Nigeria. Image: Zed Jameson.
Source: Getty Images

However, amid the impressive array of goal-scoring talent, Nigeria's Achilles' heel appears to be their precarious and seemingly subpar goalkeeping situation.

Francis Uzoho, the first-choice keeper, has been under scrutiny for a series of mistakes, including his critical error in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Ghana, which ultimately cost Nigeria a spot in Qatar.

Nonetheless, in anticipation of the AFCON showcase, former Super Eagles goalkeeper - Alloy Agu - has urged for calm from his countrymen, advocating for support for the beleaguered goalkeeper.

Alloy Agu on Francis Uzoho

In an interview with media outlet, the 1994 AFCON winner called for confidence with Uzoho stating:

"In Ghana, Uzoho was the standout player, awarded the Man of the Match. However, in the return leg against the Black Stars in Abuja, he made a mistake. Does that mean Uzoho is inherently a poor player?"

The 56-year-old added:

"Errors are part of football, but the key is to minimise them and then prove critics wrong. Football brings immense pressure, and as humans, we must confront and overcome it."

Uzoho, who recently made a mistake in the qualifying fixture against Zimbabwe in November, will be hoping he can deliver an error-free performance in the upcoming tournament.

Nigeria commences their AFCON campaign against Equatorial Guinea on January 14.

Taribo backs Uzoho for Super Eagles

Sports Brief also previously reported that former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West has backed Francis Uzoho as the goalkeeper remains under fire.

The former AC Milan defender emphasised the importance of the nation rallying behind the shot-stopper, which sparked mixed reactions from fans.

West also acknowledged the need for someone to address the Omonia Nicosia shot-stopper's psychological state to ensure he would be in prime form.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).