Ahead of Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on Wednesday, Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has revealed that the technical crew may have to consider many factors before deciding on who would man the goalpost for the team.
Rohr, who is expected to be without Super Eagles goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho after he copped an injury in the team’s 1-1 draw against Brazil in an international friendly game, will have the trio of Maduka Okoye, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa compete for the number one shirt against Benin on Wednesday.
However, in his response to a question from Soccernet’s chief editor in the team’s camp in Uyo, the German tactician stated that they may consider the goalkeeper with some level of Africa Football experience.
Before now, Akpeyi and Ezenwa have tasted Africa Football, having featured for the team during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers respectively. While Maduka made his debut for Nigeria against the Samba Boys of Brazil in an international friendly game.
“Uzoho was coming back, now he’s a very good fit but unfortunately he has this accident,” Rohr told Soccernet.ng exclusively.
“We are not lucky in this goalkeeper position. If you remember with what already happened before is Carl Ikeme and then we had the problem that Uzoho did not play in his club last season.
“And now he came back then he is injured also. So we are not lucky. But we are working on this position with goalkeeping coach Alloy Agu and other staff.
“For Maduka, it was not easy for him to come into the Brazil match against the best players in the world and to do well. But he doesn’t know like you said African football. It’s only the first time since he was six years old he was once in Nigeria, coming now for the second time to the country. So you can imagine. And then we only have one training session.
“To start him would not be a gift for him perhaps. So we will be very careful, we don’t want to burn him. He is here for the future, but we have a chance to see again perhaps Daniel Akpeyi who is doing very well for his club. The No 1 for Kaizer Chiefs so he has experience in a young team. We will see. We have Ezenwa also but he didn’t play much in the league, so I think you can find yourself a solution for tomorrow.”