Complete Sports takes a critical look at the four goalkeepers in the Super Eagles Austrian camp ahead of the international friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia. Who will get Gernot Rohr’s nod for a safe goal-keeping performance against the Desert Foxes on Friday October 9 and against the Carthage Eagles on Tuesday, October 13.
Dele ALAMPASU (FK Ventspils, Latvia)
Place of birth: Nigeria
Alampasu is now coming of age since showing so much promise as a cadet helping the Golden Eaglets to a victorious outing at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
Following that feat however, the goalkeeper had struggled for stability and dominance both at clubs and international level but his dogged determination to succeed had kept him on.
The 23-year old has had playing stints with a number of clubs – Estoril, Feirense, Casarense all in Portugal before joining Latvian Virsliga side, Ventspils earlier this year.
His move to Ventspil is paying off with the goalkeeper gradually entrenching himself at the club and is now the second choice keeper behind 31-year old Ukrainian keeper, Kostyantyn Makhnovskiy.
Alampasu has made six appearances for Ventspil the Latvian Virsliga this season as well as two UEFA Europa League appearances.
He made his national team debut as a substitute in a friendly match against Togo in June, 2017.
Appearances – 6
Goals Conceded – 8
Clean Sheets – 1
Maduka OKOYE (Sparta Rotterdam, Holland)
Place of birth: Germany
Coach Gernot Rohr’s search for good goalkeepers for the Super Eagles following the illness of Carl Ikeme and the erratic performances of the likes of Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa threw up Okoye who had earlier expressed his desire to play for Nigeria.
The 21-year old started his professional career at Bayer Leverkusen junior team before moving to Fortuna Dusseldorf where he featured prominently in the German Regionalliga and helping them secure promotion to the 2nd Bundesliga last season.
Okoye’s performances did not go un-noticed as he has been snapped up by Dutch Eredivisie side, Sparta Rotterdam at the start of the new season.
He has been part of Sparta’s first team having made it to the bench in all four Eredivisie games but he has been deployed to star for the junior team where he has made two appearances in the Dutch Tweede Divisie.
Okoye made his international debut for Nigeria playing as a sustitute in an international friendly match against Brazil which ended 1-1 in October last year.
Appearances – Nil
Goals Conceded – Nil
Clean Sheets – Nil
Mathew YAKUBU (SKF Sered, Slovakia)
Place of birth: Nigeria
Former Flying Eagles goalkeeper, Yakubu is one of the new keepers coach Gernot Rohr has invited for the upcoming Super Eagles friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia.
The 21-year old was a former player with Clique Sports Academy in Lagos and only last year moved to Slovakia where he signed a three-year deal with SKF Sered.
He then made his Slovakian Fortuna Liga debut for SKF Sered late last season against FC ViOn Zlate Moravce and has gone on to make eight appearances this season and kept clean sheets in three games.
Yakubu is currently Sered’s first choice goalkeeper ahead of 20-year old Bosnia and Herzegovina keeper, Adnan Kanuric
Appearances – 8
Goals Conceded – 9
Clean Sheets – 3
Tobias LAWAL (LASK, Austria)
Place of birth: Austria
Previously unknown, Lawal seems to have gatecrashed into the Super Eagles squad on account of the upcoming friendlies against Algeria and Tunisia getting staged in Austria where the goalkeeper was born and raised.
The LASK goalkeeper had previously starred for the Austrian junior team at the U-19 and U-20 level but switchws his allegiance to Nigeria at full international level, now looking to make his debut.
The 20-year old started his career with LASK Juniors OO playing through the Austrian Regionalliga, Jugendliga U18, 2nd Liga and recently in the Austrian Bundesliga with LASK.
Lawal currently features for the LASK first team as well as the Junior team having made one and three appearances in the Bundesliga and 2nd Liga respectively this season.
Appearances – 1
Goals Conceded – 3
Clean Sheets – Nil