Okoye keen to become Nigeria's number 1 keeper

Okoye keen to become Nigeria's number 1 keeper

by Staff Reporter

Saturday Oct 17, 2020. 15:00

Nigeria international Maduka Okoye is determined to establish himself as Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper.

The 21-year-old, who is on the books of Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam, started the West African giants’ recent friendly matches against Algeria and Tunisia.

Okoye started in goal with the likes Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Francis Uzoho absent.

“Of course, it’s great and it’s cool playing 90 minutes in the two friendlies. It was not easy games but I am happy with my performance,” Okoye told the Punch.

“In the Algerian game, we conceded in the fifth minute and it was not good. There was too much on our minds.

“A goal that early was bad but we had to keep on going. We kept on going for over 85 minutes. As I said, it’s not nice to concede goals but that’s football.”

Akpeyi, who plays for Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa, served as Nigeria’s first-choice keeper at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals where the Super Eagles finished third.

“I’m happy to be in the team. It’s always better to have a clean sheet but I’m looking forward to more games with the team,” he continued.

“I will keep doing my thing and do my best and give my coach the reason to make me the Eagles first-choice goalkeeper.”

Katsina United shot-stopper Ezenwa was Nigeria’s first-choice goalkeeper during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, Uzoho who is on the books of Cypriot giants APOEL FC, played all of the Super Eagles’ matches at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Nigeria are yet to find a permanent replacement for their former captain and keeper Vincent Enyeama since his retirement from international football in October 2015.

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