The former Sparta Rotterdam goalie was snubbed for the continental championship but remains a fan of the national team
Udinese star Maduka Okoye showed his support for the Super Eagles moments before Nigeria took to the pitch to face Equatorial Guinea in their opening Group A match at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
Okoye was Nigeria’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon, featuring in three of the Super Eagles’ four games.
However, his howler helped Tunisia dump Nigeria out of the tournament, and Okoye has not played for the Super Eagles since.
Okoye is enjoying a new lease of life in Udinese after joining the club in the summer, but he was not included in Nigeria’s final 25-man squad for Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
Instead of Okoye, coach Jose Peseiro named the trio of Francis Uzoho, Stanley Nwabili, and Olorunleke Ojo as Nigeria’s goalkeepers.
Still, shortly before Nigeria’s first Group A game against Equatorial Guinea, Okoye took to his X account (formerly Twitter) to urge the Eagles to victory.
LET’S GO SUPER EAGLES! 🦅🇳🇬🏆— Maduka Okoye (@OkoyeMaduka) January 14, 2024
Surprisingly, Nigeria, who had Nwabili in goal, failed to soar against the National Thunder, with the Super Eagles settling for a 1-1 draw.
Iban Salvador gave the Equatoguineans the lead in the 36th minute, but Victor Osimhen equalised moments later for Nigeria.
However, the Super Eagles wasted several scoring opportunities to win the tie and will now hunt for their first win when they face hosts Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday.