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Exclusive: 2022 W’Cup Playoff: Eguavoen Must Focus On Eagles’ Goalkeeping Department Ahead Ghana Game –Shorunmu

Exclusive: 2022 W’Cup Playoff: Eguavoen Must Focus On Eagles’ Goalkeeping Department Ahead Ghana Game –Shorunmu

Former Nigerian goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu has urged the Super Eagles interim coach, Austine Eguavoen to focus on the goalkeeping department of the team ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff against the Black Stars of Ghana.

Ghana will host the first leg of the tournament on March 25, before traveling to Nigeria for the return fixture four days later.

However, Shorunmu in a chat with Completesports.com, stated that the technical crew must show more attention in selecting a reliable goalkeeper that will man the post against Ghana.

“Even though I know that we have quality players that can get the job done against the Black Stars of Ghana, however, I am still worried that we don’t have so much confidence in the goalkeeping department.

“We must avoid the same error that cost Nigeria the game against Tunisia if the team must qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. The tehnical crew must focus on the goalkeeping department before Ghana clash.”


Nigeria are seeking to qualify for the World Cup a seventh time and, since 1994, have missed only one of seven editions. The last of three appearances by Ghana was in 2014.

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  • Eguavoen must focus here eguavoen must focus there. can this Ex Eagles just chill out na so dem go say the coach should focus on this and that ask them now who to include as players the names dem go drop go Shock crocodile!!. Nawa o

  • Kenny 2 years ago

    Oga Shorunmu we lost because of people like Iwobi. Onana conceded 3 Goals and their strikers responded, why couldn’t our strikers respond? When you were a Goalkeeper don’t you concede goals? Okoye is our number 1 and our future as well.

    • Chima E Samuels 2 years ago

      It is Animals like you that is why people don’t respect Complete Sports anymore.

  • Jones 2 years ago

    What is going with Adeleye at Hapoel it seems he has been relegated to second choice the guy has sat on the bench for the last three games. Abi shey we dey over-hype am?

  • Michel 2 years ago

    Lol shorumu has nailed it,he said that we must not repeat the same mistake that cost us against Tunisia and we have a fair idea what he meant,that mistake was putting okoye on the post .we must not repeat it if we must qualify,I wouldn’t mind an akpeyi rather than okoye ,plz let’s forget about playing regularly in a club that is fighting relegation and put someone that has been tested and trusted..

    • Detruth 2 years ago

      This is by far the dumbest comment I’ve hear any one make about a goalkeeper selection, “forget about goalkeepers who are playing regularly in their clubs but choose someone who is tested and trusted right!!! Apeyi is your preferred goalkeeper for the Eagles you said…..

      Tested and Trusted???


  • William d conqueror 2 years ago

    My own be say okoye should nor keep against Ghana, anybody but okoye.

    • You are the best Nigerian option go and make us proud @ Willam d conqueror

      • Help us get the ticket to the world cup and am sure you will have clean sheet in both legs @ Willam d conqueror,you shall conquer all the shots insha Allah

  • Omo9ja 2 years ago

    God bless you Mr. Shorunmu. Amaju Pinnick is the problem. We can not do anything meaningful if Amaju Pinnick is still remains the NFF President. No doubt, our own are the best to be in charge of the Super Eagles if NFF can give them free hand to do their job.

    I asked this question when he and his crew fired Oga Rohr. Why did NFF has refused to replace coach Agu? The goalkeeping department is the weakest link in that team but no solution to that because of Amaju and his company.

    The three goalies we have now are not dependable while coach Agu he’s not capable to scout for quality goalies. He has been there with the team for at least six years and nothing to show for it.

    I do not have too much expectations though, Nigerians are ready to support the team but NFF and the coaches are not ready yet to do the right thing at the right time.

    With the list of the players the coaches took to Cameroon and the show of shame, the
    coaches wasted a slot for a striker while
    John Noble who wasn’t informed made it to Afcon but Dessers, Nwkuaeme and Adeleye were ignored hmm, I remain humble. The worst is yet to happen.

    As a Nigerian, I want to see my country at the world cup but NFF and the coaches may not make it possible with their behaviors.

    Kai, we have Peter Rufai, Ike Shorunmu, Enyeama and Ikeme that are better than coach Agu but NFF are used to a shabby job.

    If we don’t qualify to the world cup blame nobody but the coaching crew, Amaju Pinnick/NFF. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Alphonsus Gbefumu 2 years ago

    The problem we had in Cameroon was the unavailability of Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and of course Dennis though not yet tested. Most of the goals we scored in Cameroon were either from or engineered by our wingers, a testament that our forwards didn’t bit. It hasn’t anything to do with goal keeping at all. Walieldin Khidir’s 70th-minute penalty for Sudan was the only time Nigeria’s goal post was breached during the group stage.

    Besides having our main strikers now available for the playoffs against Ghana and to a large extent, the World cup, coach Eguavoen should work on the midfield which was responsible for the Tunisia’s goal as Ndidi couldn’t clear his line.

    In the middle, we shall be needing the services of Etebo, Aribo, Amoo, Olise and Ndidi could play as a Super sub.

  • ZikOfAfrica 2 years ago

    To me Uzoho is a better goalkeeper than Okoye. Okoye is a disaster in the waiting except a direct shot is not taken at him. I am in support of Ike Shorunmu. Gabalski, the second Egyptian goalkeeper is playing for Zamalek while El-Sharnawy is the goalkeeper of Al-Ahli Nationale of Egypt. The are both playing local league and are very good. So, why can’t we develop our local players and make our local clubs compete in Africa. There are better goalkeepers in Nigeria if only the national team coaches are diligent and scout for them.

    • Can you compare Al alhy with Sparta Rotterdam?, Al alhy is one of best clubs in the world

      • Mahmud Shuaib 2 years ago

        Don’t allow the loquacious Dr. Drey hear you o.

        Omonia Nicosia and Al Hilal abi na wetin be the name of that Saudi club wey IGJALO dey play for are better than Al Ahly o


  • Nelson 2 years ago

    This is the goal in question, I could see didn’t have a clear view of the shot.


    • Nelson 2 years ago

      Okoye didn’t have a clear view.

    • He tried his best for h to parred the shot even though it swerved at the last second he tried but people who are novice talk any how

  • pompei 2 years ago

    We need the kind of rivalry that existed between Enyeama and Ejide in the SE.

    Enyeama in this article confessed that Ejide played a big role in his success as a goalie.
    Ejide was a big competition for him, and forced him to raise his game, and keep it at a consistently high level.
    And there was no bad belle, resentment, or envy between them. They were united. See the pic in the article of Ejide handing the captain’s band to Enyeama during a match.
    Ejide is active in the Israeli 2nd division. At 37, he is in his prime.
    If Carl Ikeme was still active, he would likely be Nigeria’s numero uno currently. And he’s 35.
    So 37 is a good age for a goalie.
    CRAZY RIDICULOUS SUGGESTION – could Ejide be a possible solution to our current goalie crisis?
    If that is the case, fine. We continue our search for reliable hands to join Okoye and Uzoho.
    I’ve not watched Ejide recently. But if he still has the form he had when he deputized for Enyeama, then it is worth investigating.
    With an in-form Ejide in goal, we will not be needing our BP meds during games. At his best, he’s a world class goalie, like Enyeama. Additionally, he will help to push Okoye and Uzoho to greater heights.
    Over to you, SE coaches.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    Anybody that insults me because of my above comment, THE THUNDER THAT WILL FIRE HIM IS PROCESSING……

    • Lol, no curse pls but criticism is In some people’s blood

      • pompei 2 years ago

        Mayans, na wa for some people.
        Their wahala is too much.
        They will not take the time to read and understand comments. They will just open their mouths and start talking nonsense.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Exactly pompei, our goal keeping position needs competition to bring the lion in okoye.. he is too comfortable so he is prone to errors..

    Uzoho has not played a single game after the Afcon for a low club in Cyprus. Akpeyi has not played too for a South Africa club, only okoye is active in his club and we should pray and motivate him because we don’t have a replacement at the moment..

    I don’t know what this Nigerian coaches are doing, they should have invited okonkwo of arsenal for the Afcon as the 4th goalkeeper.. this will push him for get game time in another club maybe a loan in the championship but they called noble of enyimba who doesn’t get games in Nigeria league.. what a waste of an opportunity.. imagine an Okonkwo a first team player in arsenal competing with okoye for super eagles goal post.. both are less than 22 yrs .. pls this Africa coaches should wake up to their responsibilities and stop taking we deserve world cup more than Ghana like it is our birth right

  • I see more problem with our mild field than the goal keeping area.

    The same guy that was beaten by first shot is still the same who save the second one.

    The first shot was a low one to the ground which might be a bit difficult to see when you have multiple legs infront of you.

    Uzoho too is poor when comes to low shot like this. I remember our friendly match against England, kane score a low shot like this against him. In world cup proper against agentina that second goal too was a low ball.

    We see how another low ball was poorly parry into the legs of our oponent by uzoho if not for ajayi’s intervention at the just concluded AFcon.

    That being said, am not sure this qualifier is ideal for us to start using another hands entirely for try and error.

    I will suggest that the keeper trainer work on the weak points of the existing hands that will have for this all important qualylifying play off games.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Yes our midfield is abit poor especially the attacking midfield position.. we struggle in qualifier when iwobi is not available.. we will suffer in that first leg in his absence.. iheancho doesn’t impress me as an attacking midfielder.. we have excess defensive midfielder, so I will love to see aribo pushed to the attacking midfield, but something tells me aribo will struggle in that position.. probably an igahalo- oshimem will do but it might be risky as it will open our midfield ..

    Nwakali just wasted his Afcon opportunity, he did well in the Afcon and I was rooting for him in this upcoming Game but I doubt if he has allowed to train in his club with tht problems he is having with them..

    I think this is the time to try one of nwobodo or alhasan Yusuf they are both playing regularly in their clubs and are averagely good midfielder with a good pass.. I will prefer nwobodo.

    My greatest fear is in defense, If anything happens to balogun from now till the Ghana game we will be in serious trouble.. last week the coach of rangers decided to bench balogun and tried a midfielder for a defender and it backfired badly for him, he was attacked by the Scottish media for such silly error, that’s shows the importance of balogun, maybe the coach was trying to rest him for other games.. awaziem, ekong, aina,and it seems Kenneth is injured at the moment (not too sure, he has made match squad for 2 weeks) so I will relying on a balogun and maybe ajayi(ekong for experience) ( Kenneth if fit) or ndidi as our preferred central defenders

    • I too am deeply saddened about how Nwakali couldn’t leverage his gifted Afcon slot to slowly ingratiate himself into the national team by having stability in club football.

      He showed great potentials in the tournament but now, fans will cry wolf if his name appears in the squad to prosecute the Ghana expedition.

      So a huge talent go waste is always terrible thing to see. His crosses, lobs, long balls from deep and set pieces were near-top notch. Nwakali remains one of only a few Nigerian players capable of producing such outputs anywhere.

      But nonchalance will rub him of his national team place and the chance to see what he truly can become will now never materialise.

  • If Okoye was that good, there wouldn’t be this much apprehension from a large body of fans about the vulnerability of Nigeria’s goalkeeping department.

    But the bigger question is: why are Nigerian goalkeepers performing so badly in club football outside our shores?

    The much talked about Adebayo Adeleye has now also been officially inducted into the benchwarmers Hall of Fame in Israel. Following a string of 5 losses in 6 games that saw Adeleye concede 10 goals, his starting position became untenable.

    Having also had game-time hard to come by, Daniel Akpeyi is now rumoured to be nearing the pinnacle of his demise in South Africa as the club are looking to wave goodbye to several over-30s soon.

    Osigwe, Uzoho and Matthew Yakubu are all fully paid up patrons of the Bench-warmers association of their various clubs leading us with just one option: unripe Maduka Okoye.

    And Maduka Okoye will ripen to become a decent goalkeeper. But for now, he remains an achilles heel of Nigeria’s defence apparatus.

    For example, the goal he conceded against Tunisia – that contributed to Nigeria’s Afcon ouster – was very saveable.

    Okoye saw Youssef Msakni brush Ndidi aside before setting himself up to shoot,hence he should have anticipated the shot. With the ball travelling at him, Okoye exhibited indecision. By the time he decided what to do, the outcome was fait accompli as his feeble punch only guided the ball on its way to breaking Nigerian hearts.

    Any opposition coach and video analysts watching highlights of Super Eagles fans will not need a sorcerer to discover Nigeria’s goalkeeping vulnerability.

    Take it or leave it, this version of Okoye is currently a liability to the Super Eagles.

    He will surely get better and in a few years time, we will be praising Okoye to high heavens due to how truly impressive he would have become.

    But for now, as a short term solution, I think the Super Eagles handlers should look to the NPFL for a temporary fix.

    The likes of Stanley Nwabili (Lobi Stars) or Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars) are possible outlets.

    But in truth, the paucity of viable goalkeeping options outside Nigeria may have left the Super Eagles coaching crew of likely putting all their eggs in Okoye’s basket against Ghana.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t leak those eggs!

  • pompei 2 years ago

    Ololo, I agree with you about Okonkwo. He is a good prospect.
    Is he willing to play for Nigeria?
    Based on this article, it appears the answer is yes.

    However, there are other things to consider.
    Does he have enough experience playing at the highest level?
    He just recently made the Arsenal senior squad. To throw him into a world cup play-off game with all the pressure and tension night prove to be too much for the young man to handle.
    Yet, his youth may be an advantage, as that may make him fearless.
    It is up to the coaches to keep tabs on him, and possibly invite him to come and compete with other invitees.
    He looks a great prospect indeed.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    Ololo and Yinkus, you guys made valid points about our midfield.
    We don’t have an Okocha at the moment. But must we have an Okocha? Must we?
    Look at Liverpool. They boast one of the best midfields in world football. Yet, they don’t have any AMs. What they have is box-to-box midfielders. Henderson, Fabinho, Alcantara, Keita, Elliot. Midfielders that are comfortable on the ball, have good technique for passing and shooting at goal, and have the stamina to cover every blade of grass on the pitch.
    If we don’t have a decent AM, we can use the box-to-box midfielders we have.
    I’m still not sold on Aribo. He’s good with Rangers, but with Nigeria, hmmmmm.
    I would recommend guys like Ndidi, Etebo if fit, Nwobodo, Yusuf, Raphael Nwadike, Bonke, Kingsley Michael if fit, Onyeka, Dele-Bashiru. The SE coaches can pick and chose from these guys for the Ghana game. They will perform.
    Instead of looking for an AM that will hold on to the ball for too long, dribbling his destiny up and down, we can get our creativity from:
    1) Box-to-box midfielders who make quick, intelligent passes and shoot well at goal.
    2) Wingers and full backs who are good at supplying quality crosses into the box.
    It works wonders for Liverpool. It can also work for us.

    • Rasaq 2 years ago

      This is a gulf of difference between a club and a national team side. Besides the rookies(Sadiq, Awoniyi, Iheanacho, Olayinka) we had as strikers, super eagles major challenge in Cameroon was the goal tender. The coach has to replaced some of these players.

  • Fadairo 2 years ago

    Please sit back and watch this click. This is the solution to our goal keeping dept and as much as possible, it shouldn’t matter if he is not Ibo tribe. Okoye was tried but failed.


    • Jones 2 years ago

      Bro dont rate players by what you see on YouTube.. even Maduka has better highlights than this and Adeleye is now a second choice at Hapoel. You guys should stop talking down Okoye it doesn’t help his confidence.

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    For okonkwo I think we should use the rohn style to get him integrated to the team. When okoyo was newly invited he wasn’t even a first team player for his club in Germany.. But rohn saw the future.. Now he is our only savior for the upcoming games. Okoyo pushed for game playing time and left Germany, why ? He is a national team player.. In the Afcon in eypgt 2019 rohn included an oshimen who was a rookie as that then with great potential. I remember his game against Tunisia 3rd place match he was very average but immediately after that afcon oshimen exploded.. What was a noble going in that list, we should get this okonkwo boy.. Okoye might not be available every time

  • Ololo 2 years ago

    Balogun is back played 90mins last night.. We are covered at the back.

    Bassey has started all games this yr for rangers and should be invited.. Probably a Collins can be dropped for him, but Collins is an experienced player so it is ready a tough decision.

  • Kenny 2 years ago

    Shorunmu could not even catch even one penalty against Cameroun in our soil AFCON Ghana Nigeria year 2000, Even in AFCON 2002 He could not win AFCON, Even Besitas Fans were fed up with his performance. So do not criticize Okoye

  • Igbekun Abo 2 years ago

    All yeye fans with rotten teeth will be criticising Okoye the great with baseless arguments. Just because he is going through tough times doesn’t mean he can not rise above difficulty. Naija fans are too impatient. The need for instant success is killing our football. If Okoye keeps against Ghana, throw your television under the bridge. Lolzzzz lolzzzz. Za za za za za.

  • Theophilus 2 years ago

    Goal keepers trainer Alloy Agu should look for the likes of Peter Rufai, Emma okala,Vincent Enyeama from the local leagues.They were home grown goalkeepers that excelled in super eagles goal post. It’s high time we depend on foreing goal keepers who are bench warmers in their clubs. Akpeyi cost us the loss in 2020 nations cup against Algeria. He is always fidgeting in front of goal upon his experience. Eguavoen should play attacking football

  • Okoye is not our problem ooo, that guy is good, don’t forget the very bad saves he had for the super eagles, for the match against Tunisia, watch that game again, he didn’t hv a clear view for that hot shot he even attempted it, if u watch well the 18yrd box was crowded…and suddenly a shot came through, he is doing absolutely fine for S.E ready to die for his dear country, in Nigeria people will always talk down on some players because they think football is that easy….( An average Nigerian is a coach) everyone is talking be it possitive or negative why because we are a die hard football loving nation..this players are improving day after day, bringing us back to our Glory days..this players needs our full support…. Let’s go show them what we are made off. The grass go surely suffer, because we are the PRIDE of AFRICA… #soar super eagles….NGA 3 Vs GHA 1

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