AFCON: Super Eagles Goalkeeper Left Frustrated With Bench Role Against Equatorial Guinea, Report

AFCON: Super Eagles Goalkeeper Left Frustrated With Bench Role Against Equatorial Guinea, Report

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
CAF AFCON
Africa
Nigeria logo
Nigeria
Nigeria
21
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Equatorial Guinea logo
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
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Francis uzoho logo
f.uzoho
-GNigeria logo
Francis Uzoho logo
F. Uzoho
Omonia Nicosia FC logoGNigeria logo
  • Nigeria kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign against Equatorial Guinea
  • First-choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was dropped to the bench in favour of Stanley Nwabali
  • A report of the shot-stopper being displeased with the decision to bench him has emerged

Super Eagles of Nigeria kicked off their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign with an underwhelming draw against the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea.

The three-time Cup of Nations champions, who were largely tipped to secure an easy victory against their opponent on the night, were surprisingly forced to labour for a draw thanks to the compact and cohesive approach by Juan Micha’s side.

CAF, AFCON, Nigeria, Uzoho, Nwabali
Stanley Nwabali makes a save during the Africa Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

However, while the display on the night was deemed as largely underwhelming by fans of the Super Eagles, one act that caught the attention of many was the decision of head coach Jose Peseiro to field a debuting goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali against the largely anticipated and experienced hands of Francis Uzoho.

The Chippa United shot-stopper who was only making his competitive debut for the National team, appeared to be the coach’s preferred hand for the competition, a decision that a report has highlighted has Uzoho frustrated.

Uzoho frustrated with Peseiro’s decision

According to a report from OwnGoalNigeria, the 25-year-old goalkeeper expressed his frustrations, emphasising that he was not given prior notice about losing his position in the team despite performing well in the training sessions leading up to the AFCON.

The report additionally pointed out that the Omonia Nicosia shot-stopper had a disagreement with an unnamed player, which may have contributed to the coach's decision.

The report suggests that coach Peseiro might choose to stick with Nwabali as the goalkeeper for the crucial match against host nation Ivory Coast.

In any case the Chippa United shot-stopper starts ahead of Uzoho, it would confirm the ongoing speculation that Uzoho has lost his starting place in the national team.

Alloy Agu backs Uzoho

Sports Brief in a previous report highlighted former Super Eagles goalkeeper Alloy Agu has backed Francis Uzoho to shine at the AFCON in Ivory Coast.

The 1994 Cup of Nations winner rallied for support for the underfire Omonia Nicosia star, expressing his trust in the 25-year-old.

Uzoho has faced criticism for his mistakes, including the most recent one against Zimbabwe.

Authors
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).