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‘Anybody Can Be Beaten By That Goal’ — Omeruo Defends Okoye After Super Eagles AFCON Exit

‘Anybody Can Be Beaten By That Goal’ — Omeruo Defends Okoye After Super Eagles AFCON Exit

Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo has defended Maduka Okoye following criticism over the goalkeeper’s performance in the side’s defeat to Tunisia on Sunday.

Okoye was blamed for his inability to save Youssef Msakni’s low strike two minutes after the break.

“He is not feeling fine right now but you know I said to him ‘Listen you’ve been amazing. It’s been a good tournament for you’,” Omeruo told BBC Sport Africa.

Read Also: AFCON 2021: ‘We Gave Our 100 Per Cent Against Tunisia’ —Eagles Captain, Musa

“Anybody can be beaten by that goal. It’s a good strike and also it wasn’t a clear situation, because we the defenders were in front of him as well, so that would distract his view as well.

“I wouldn’t say that goal was his fault at all, you know and one thing I do after such tournaments is I delete my social media, because you find people who, some of them, don’t even know football.

“There is just anger because we are Nigerians and we want to win every game.”

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Ndubest 2 years ago

    Since he is not at fault then you are at fault for not charging the player and giving him time to pick his spot. Ajayi would have done a better job than you.

  • Four four two 2 years ago

    Of course, that’s why I don’t any one. However, I will scold Aina to be more discipline in defence. He was the one in position to close down the guy in the midfield but chose to escort him only to free him completely close the box. Same Aina gave away the penalty that broke our clean sheet record. Is Aina a disaster in our team? Time will tell

    • How is he a disaster is as if you you don’t even watch the matches the se have been playing. Isn’t the same aina that overtook he right wing from Samuel and started causing trouble for the Egyptians but now he is a disaster I bet even if Ronaldo is in this team the moment he do something wrong he is overrated. Do you guys ever wonder why footballers get so much money? It’s because it’s super hard “so if you aren’t better than them don’t criticize them” that’s a slogan

    • Larry 2 years ago

      You are completely wrong on this. Going by ratings, Aina was actually one of the top performers in the team. Aina chased the scorer and decided to defend his side when he saw Ndidi, Ndidi tried to mark his man but got beaten,, Omeruo tried to cover but was too and Okoye was badly position to catch, with good positioning and stronger palm he could have parried the ball.
      If you watched the clip, the Tunisia tried similar script before and after the goal but were not successful.


    • Jones 2 years ago

      Ola was probably one of our 3 best players at afcon. How the hell can you call him a disaster…he was our best player vs Egypt, he was fantastic against Sudan (bar the ridiculous penalty given to Sudan). Against Tunisia he was involved in more attacking play than Chukweze so please brother try watch the group stage matches because e be like say na only R16 you watch.

    • Footballfanatix 2 years ago

      Common man Aina was one of our best players….Nigerians are cruel. Now Aina is suddenly a disaster….Nw wa ooh

  • Okoye we love man. Ride on keep on getting better at what you do. He has been good only the penalty and that goal was the ball he conceded when you guys aren’t watching any other game except the ones the super eagles played. Then you will see how keepers are conceding cheaply. To me okoye has been one the best goalkeepers of the tournament only kamara and andre Onana have been the best keepers in this tournament the rest aren’t better than okoye even Mendy cause he only played one match.

  • Golden Child 2 years ago

    A colleague giving his team mate encouragement, this is fine but we should stop the falsehood. OKOYE is not one of the best goalkeepers at the afcon, far from it.

    Some of the statements on this platform highlights our current predicament in this country. We see the obvious truth and choose to turn a blind eye. Rather than seek better alternatives and improve as a team in all departments, we will still be wallowing in sentiments 4 years from now.

    Even if we qualify ahead of Ghana, the thought of Okoye manning the goal at the world cup is scary.

    I just hope a new goal keeper trainer would be selected so we can put a stop to the anomalies in the team.

    He is a nice guy and loves playing for NIGERIA, I get it but if we are to improve, sentiments must give way to meritocracy.

  • Gritty 2 years ago

    Shame on Omeruo and other defenders (plus OkoyeBasket) who allowed that Tunis to shoot that ball without going full length down to block it.

    Didn’t they see how the Tunis were throwing all of their body to block our shots and making great blocks that saved their team?…

    SE platform gave Okoye the leap he is enjoying in his career today (courtesy of Rohr) not because he is Super good. Or can you equate Okoye with Mendy, Onana, et al.?

    Let’s call a spade a spade; Maduka Okoye is not ripe for SE No1 goalie.
    His blunders have become too many to ignore pls (blunders vs Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Central African Rep, Tunisia, etc).

    I’m saying it o, let the Coach try Okoye against Ghana and see Ghana rain thunderous shots into our nets, since it has become an excuse that goal keepers should not save shots or slightly deflected shots!!! Ye ye dey smell… Na cry una go cry if you try Okoye vs Ghana because Ghana already knows Okoye is not good.

    Stop making excuses for Okoye who doesn’t know how to make quick foot steps before diving. Watch his highlights again, Okoye is always flat footed at the face of opposition attack. And sometimes even fall inside his own post before the ball gets to him.

    We need new goal keeper trainer to fish out great goalies home and abroad, whether they are playing in top 5 now or not.

    #OkoyeBasket#Out! #Fineboy-No#show!

    • A trainer trains not scout, that’s what the scouting department are for

    • John-I 2 years ago

      Which Onana? Onana that Comoros player scored against from almost 50 yards? Onana that hardly keeps a Cleensheet. Mendy? Well, Mendy hasn’t being tasted so far! Goalkeepers of the tournament are from Burkina Faso (Koffi) and Gabon.

      This is not to defend Okoye who was absolutely horrendous. I understand that Omeruo is trying to encourage a colleague but there’s no justification or excuse to concede such goal. He should’ve used his two hands to block the ball. Even if he pushed it straight back into play, Ekong and Omeruo would’ve mopped up easily.

      • Watch the clip again. Goalkeeper leg positioning makes them catch the ball, and per his type of ball the leg positioning is quite different . He positioned his leg for a straight shot then the ball served he had to change the position of this feet before he can dive and it happened so fast no keeper in the history of football can get both his hands on that ball am not saying no keeper can save it but to get both hands to it then he would leave on a stretcher. even yashin can’t do it

        • Steve O 2 years ago

          Stop giving excuses for Okoye , he has been our worst goalkeeper in years.Okoye is always flatfooted, he has conceded goals more than any other super eagles keeper in years !!..Okoye shouldn’t be part of Super Eagles again, we have had enough of such silly mistakes , he is always a disaster!!…again the goal keeper trainer should be changed!!

  • Greenturf 2 years ago

    He’s the goalkeeper with the best profile in Nigeria today,so for that he remains the number one until we have goalkeepers who will rise to his level or exceeds it.
    It’s tough but it is just the truth.
    We aren’t blessed with quality goalkeepers at the moment but with good scouting we could get eligible goalkeepers from feeder teams of top European clubs we could harness just like we did with Okoye then we have created options good enough to toughen it out with our current number one.

    • Atubolu is good but also okoye I have done the scouting my self either uzoho moves to a new big club okoye is still the number. Our goalkeepers Tottenham u23 goalkeeper Barnsley 3rd choice goalkeeper, yakubu but the guy isn’t as good as okoye, adewale is good but can’t be compared to okoye. I have studied all these keepers. Now uzoho is still the best based in ability but okoye is the main number one but his profile demands it and all this previous mistakes he was Young even enyeama at that age was still in Jerusalem then so time is everything only onana out of all the African keepers started well at club level than okoye

      • Steve O 2 years ago

        Okoye has never saved Super Eagles in any occasion.He is not the best and can’t be the best .Just look at how keepers are saving thier teams at Afcon ?..Okoye only got one shut in the whole of Afcon and let us down , even Comoros goal keeper could have done better with that ball!!…Uzoho should be made number one period !!..Okoye was manufactured by Rohr , he was never the best amongst the current keepers and have broken our hearts against Sierra Leone, Algeria, Tunisia ,CAR etc ..so how long will we continue to baby seat Okoye ?…Okoye have conceded the highest number of goal within his short stay with eagles than any other keeper in our history !!.Please let stop the baby feeding of Okoye , let Uzoho takes over and then we look for another strong keeper like Carl !!..Carl could have been one of the greatest keeper for super eagles of all times , unfortunately health challenges stopped that.

    • Michel 2 years ago

      Which profile,a player that costs Rotterdam less than 100 thousand euro

  • Four four two 2 years ago

    Must ths goal keeper come from Europe? Whr was Eyeama picked?, Whr was Rufai pick? It not about league but how talented u are

    • I know but the world has changed you are talking about enyeama been picked do you think at that particular time if we had a keeper in the premier league they would consider enyeama? Think about it don’t be a hypocrite

    • Greenturf 2 years ago

      Of course we could get one from our youth teams if corruption will allow us to pick the best.
      I’m using European as a platform because things aren’t done on merit in Nigeria.The best youth keeper could be dropped for Oga from the top lists.You are a Nigerian @four four two so should understand how things are done over there it’s very hard to get a genuine talent because most may not have a godfather.
      Unless we are blessed with a good and selfless coach though they do come every now and again example the likes of Manu Garba until his last tournament in Brazil,then the likes of Emmanuel Amunike unfortunately he decided against working with youths.

      Yeah it’s possible to get another Enyeama but the system could stiffle that opportunity hence the need to expand our dragnets.

  • I know but the world has changed you are talking about enyeama been picked do you think at that particular time if we had a keeper in the premier league they would consider enyeama? Think about it don’t be a hypocrite

  • JimmyBall 2 years ago

    Goalkeepers full NPFL… Which one is profile? Profile wey no fit catch ball… no be yeye profile be that? Make we heard work about Okoye abeg. Make god punish Nigeria make we leave for post against Ghana… they will disgrace him and us again.

    • Oya tell me one NPFL keeper that is better than okoye. Abi Noble lol. News flash Noble is even a bench warmer at his NPFL club. This shows he was picked because he had been on the squad before and not because of quality

      • Steve O 2 years ago

        If noble is not good enough for you ok , then pick the guy that displaced him in his club period ?..Okoye is a disaster and can never be a first team keeper for a serious team !!..we have baby seat him enough .If Okoye had kept his own bargain , super eagles could have still be in Afcon !!. Comoros keeper is even hundred times better than Okoye !!

    • Sebi it’s your own that is there. Did anybody stop him from inviting and using goalkeeper from NPFL? Sha sit there and be typing rubbish by the time your eye is clear you will still come back here and start defending rubbish like your are doing now with flimsy and senseless excuses.

  • ” glory to you jehova” classy guy it’s
    good you are feeling confident again, there is always next year but bro you need lessons

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

    Omeruo don’t mind them.. Especially the Eguavon followers. Rohr gave them a very good goal keeper, with qualities of being a top class but look how they turned him into now. Am sure they underated Tunisia that they didn’t train him hard for situations like that. They only focus their training more on Moses Simon and their wing play. LMFAO!!

    • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

      Omeruo you lie.Two AFCONs now and we have exited because of goalkeepers.you lie.first it was Akpeyi and now this boy.Truth is that we don’t tell ourselves the truth.Enyeama should have continued until a capable hand is found but politics and tribalism,Quota,hate and envy from the likes of oliseh would not allow us

      • Footballfanatic 2 years ago

        To be honest Akpeyi’s was harder than this one…..Mahrez is a master at suchnfree kicks ….. This was from 25 yards out lol

  • Chibuike 2 years ago

    Guys , Okey always bad positioning and goal keeper trainer ever notice it and I wonder why! Tunisia players notice that after that goal and they started shooting from outside. Ball always catch maduka okey unawares. I prefer raw talented goal keeper like Ozoho. Ozoho started goal keeping from street not like okey that learn from academy. Grand shooting from 25yards you can’t catch it! You are basket bro okey.

    • @ Chibuike, thank you very much. You are the only person that have been able to pinpoint Okoye’s critical flaw as a goalkeeper – poor or wrong positioning. Please anybody who says Okoye should still remain the super eagles number one keeper should go and do an objective analysis of all the saves he has made for the super eagles and the goals he conceded.

      Okoye does not know how to position himself. That is a fact! In the match against Tunisia he was called to service twice. one resulted in a goal and the other one he parried. The one he could not catch was as a result of bad positioning. Yes, the ball made a slight swerve before getting to him but it was his bad positioning that let him down. The second one that he parried was also as a result of bad positioning. Thus, making it look like a real dangerous ball situation. I’m sorry, a keeper that lacks this critical skill in goalkeeping will find it very difficult to maintain the number one position in any club or team.

      How many times have we seen Okala, Ogedengbe, Rufai, and even Enyeama save the eagles on countless occasions. In the 4 matches Nigeria played, the defenders did a good job shielding Okoye. But on the very occasion that he was called to save the team he could not. What do we think will happen when we play a team like Ghana that will use any available means, and I mean it, to defeat Nigeria. Just like Eguavoen, Okoye has not proved himself to have what it takes to handle critical match situations for Nigeria.

      For now Uzoho is a better option than Okoye. At least he does not seem to have the problem of not knowing how to position himself. Till we find a goalkeeper in the mold of Rufai, or at least, Enyeama, Uzoho should remain super eagles first chocie goalkeeper.

      • SD Special Delivery Jones 2 years ago

        Josh men. You are right. Okoye is average.

  • Moses Inyang 2 years ago

    Omeruo you lie.Two AFCONs now and we have exited because of goalkeepers.you lie.first it was Akpeyi and now this boy.Truth is that we don’t tell ourselves the truth.Enyeama should have continued until a capable hand is found but politics and tribalism,Quota,hate and envy from the likes of oliseh would not allow us

  • KangA 2 years ago


    Professor Know-all breezed into the class, his backpack strapped to his back. He deposited it on the table, retrieved his laptop, and punched at the keys. A cartoon flashed on the projector screen showing a man sitting under an apple tree. Soon an apple dropped from the tree, smashing on the man’s bald head. Dazed, the man rose to his feet, muttering some swear words.
    PROF. KNOW-ALL: That was Newton. Gosh . . . that was sore, but he used the experience to develop his famous gravitational theory . . . so listen and correct your ways.

    KUNLE: (Turning to his friend, Josh) This man should have been a successful comedian.

    JOSH: Especially with this his funny backpack.

    PROF KNOW-ALL: I’ll tell you a story. There was this professor who alternates her exam questions between The Holy Jesus and Apostle Paul. She was so predictable that her students went ahead to prepare the answers long before the exam date. But one year she did the unthinkable: asked the students to write on The Holy Jesus two years in a row.

    One student was hit below the belt. He bit the end of his pen and quickly deduced the solution. He wrote in bold letters: WHO AM I TO WRITE ON THE HOLY JESUS, I WILL RATHER WRITE ON HIS SERVANT, APOSTLE PAUL. He went on to regurgitate his answers. Of course, he got zero marks, rien!

    KUNLE: This lecture rings a bell, Josh . . . The last SE match . . . a pre-prepared strategy . . . my God!

    Prof Know-all staggered out of the classroom.

    • Jason 2 years ago

      Greenturf, Nigerians had better be careful.
      This place and social media has been clearly been infiltrated by NPFL AGENTS who see Eguaveon as a better chance to get their substandard players into our senior national team.

      Rohr perpetually impoverished them while in charge. Reason why he was attacked, sabotaged and chased away -He still thrived & met every target given to him irrespective-

      Imagine not selling any NPFL player in 2 Afcons and a world cup. BAD FOR BUSINESS.

      These people are so desperate they will readily sacrifice world cup qualification to see business pick up again. BUSINESS IS BUSINESS to them.

      They rode on the crest of the unfortunate results we recorded in the tail end of WCQ (We still qualified) to create confusion & instigate Nigerians against the erstwhile coach & team.

      Now they have someone who will sacrifice our better players for their’s and you think they won’t come here in droves with multipled IDs to comment support for his stay? LET TRUE SE FANS BE WISE.

      Football is about results anywhere in the world. Nigeria never crashes out in round of 16 (afcon). No matter what is the situation, it is unheard of and has never happened. Eguaveon and his assistants has been with this team for over a year. He failed the task given to him. SIMPLE.

      A good coach will always get results. Keshi won nations cup first time with Nigeria because he was good, Rohr qualified us for world cup from a very difficult group first time because he was good, Tuchel won UCL with Chelsea few months after being coach because he is good. Eguaveon FAILED and there is no sugar coating it.

      We will miss the world cup if this people have their way. We have a young team with large potentials to grow. This team is no where near it’s peak but it’s clear to everyone that they’ll rule Africa and shake the world when they get there. The world knows this, the rest of Africa knows this (Mane et al).

      But leave this team in the hands of an easy to control Eguaveon and we won’t recognize it in a few months.

      We will beat Ghana because our team is better than theirs and have our best world cup performance ever. We only need a strong willed, tactically astute coach who will select the best of our players, encourage them to continually aim to play in the biggest leagues and competitions and we’ll watch this team meet and surpass any previous super eagles set.

      I read the comments of so many people here who obviously love our super eagles but are sometimes too emotional, sentimental and BANDWAGONISH.


  • Golden Child 2 years ago

    One big mistake a lot of fans make is that they believe that the best players are in the top leagues. This is a big fallacy, like someone mentioned Enyeama played for Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) when the team won the AFCON in 2013 and some people on this platform believe because Okoye plays for Sparta Rotterdam in Holland and was recently signed by Watford FC, suggest he is the best goal tender for Nigeria. Totally misleading!

    Adeleye has been churning out performances in the same Israel Enyeama plied his trade and was never called up once till this day despite several FIFA windows for Friendlies. That is why i just shake my end in disappointment when some fans back Gernot Rohr. Whilst he did some good but there were a lot of bad that he has to take credit for. Rohr was just very fortunate that he took over SE when there was an explosion of good talents. I just pulled up Keshi’s team list for the 2013 AFCON and the only players in decent clubs were Victor Moses (Chelsea), Mikel Obi (Chelsea) , Onazi (Lazio), Ahmed Musa (CSK MOSCOW), IK Uche (Villareal), Efe Ambrose(Celtic) & Nosa (Real Betis). Just 7 players, compare that with now.

    Afelokhai showed some promise against Mexico, he saw his chances snuffed out. Other goal keepers in the diaspora should be scouted. The goal keeper from Gambia who hails from Germany has been doing well despite being young so we should explore this option. Arthur Okonkwo should be looked at, It is unfortunate that we abhor the truth in this country, some are still on Okoye’s matter! Maybe he might come good in the future but for now, he is not ready for SE.

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