Is this a course for worry, or should we have faith in our team?
Following the issues ailing the goal keeping side of the team, as the number one goal keeper Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute Leukemia in July. Ezenwa was second choice behind Carl Ikeme since the Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper replaced Vincent Enyeama as Nigeria’s number one, but sadly Ezenwa was cut for Daniel Akpeyi for the match against Algeria when Ikeme pulled out of the team due to an injury. Akpeyi performed remarkably well in the game which led to a 3-1 win in favor of the Nigerian side in Uyo, and since kept his place on the team.
In June this year, Akpeyi’s performance against South Africa for the Afcon Qualifier was very poor and unsatisfactory, leading to a 2-0 loss for Nigeria. Akpeyi was called in for the showdown against Cameroon on Friday and on Monday, but coach Rohr confirmed Akpeyi had picked up an injury, leaving Ezenwa to start for the team.
The skipper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, led the squad for the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) that eliminated Benin Republic a couple of weeks ago in Kano to qualify for next year’s continental finals in Kenya. Ezenwa revealed to the media:
“It is a huge responsibility to represent Nigeria. I thank the coaches for this opportunity. I will not disappoint.” – Ikechukwu Ezenwa
“I have been with the team for the past two years, I joined the team in 2015. I have understudied Carl Ikeme and Daniel Akpeyi and I think I have gathered a lot of experience working with them as brothers…..” Coach Rohr also had a few things to say to the media and Nigerians.
“It is unfortunate now that we have a problem in the goalkeeping side with three goalkeepers out, but Ezenwa will be in goal for us, and I am confident that he will do a good job…..” – Coach Rohr
The coach continues, “The list of players makes the difference, not so young, more of experienced players….. We know that we have a good team, we are ready to make the difference, we have all confidence to beat the Indomitable Lions here in Uyo… we will support Ezenwa, and the players will support him to make a good game.”
Maybe like they say, “it’s Ezenwa’s time to shine.” Former Junior International, Dele Ajiboye has been called to replace Akpeyi for the game.
Nigerians are eager for the first leg of the game on Friday and it promises to be a tough one, with former African football player of the year Samuel Eto, visiting the Indomitable Lions in camp to boost their morals. The former Chealsea midfielder John Mikel Obi, also had his lot to say to Nigerians,
“I am here to make sure we qualify for the World Cup. Everybody dreams to go to the World Cup. We are playing at home, we are fit, we have what it takes to win the match….” – John Mikel Obi
Friday is tomorrow folks, I hope your heart isn’t beating as fast as mine in anticipation of the game. ☺
We believe in our team and we expect them to be victorious tomorrow.
Photo: cfr magazine