The Deportivo Alaves shot-stopper enjoyed an outstanding day as he stopped countless Nigetian attacks on a disappointing day for the Super Eagles
Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Jesús Owono has been awarded the Save of the Day honour for his spectacular stop against Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, Soccernet.ng reports.
Owono claimed the man-of-the-match award as his excellent displays helped Equatorial Guinea secure an impressive 1-1 draw on match-day one of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 22-year-old goalie made seven stunning saves as Nigeria searched desperately for a winning goal after Victor Osimhen cancelled out Iban Salvador’s 36th-minute opener.
Owono’s most outstanding save came in the second half when he charged down Osimhen, made himself big, and blocked the Super Eagles striker’s shot with his chest.
The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has identified the Owono save as the best from the three matches played yesterday.
Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy made three stops as the Pharaohs scored a late penalty to claim a 2-2 draw with Mozambique.
Goalkeeper Richard Ofori made five saves for Ghana but it was not enough to help the Black Stars avoid a shock 2-1 defeat to Cape Verde.
None of their saves, however, outshone that of Owono against Nigeria.
Answering Soccernet.ng‘s question on how he was able to prevent Osimhen from scoring more than one, Owono said, “[To stop Osimhen] you have to be calm, and take the match like another match.
“Victor Osimhen is a great striker but we prove that we are a great team and we defend great.”
Interestingly, Super Eagles goalie Stanley Nwabali, making his competitive debut for Nigeria, made only one save in the encounter.
Nigeria have one point on the board following the draw against Equatorial Guinea and will have a stiffer challenge when they trade tackles with host Cote d’Ivoire on matchday two.
Cote d’Ivoire defeated Guinea-Bissau on the opening day of the AFCON to bag three points and sit top of Group A.