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Algeria friendly: Okoye in serious fight to reclaim Super Eagles No.1 shirt


Maduka Okoye is one of the goalkeepers called up for next week’s international friendly against Algeria.

Okoye last played for the Super Eagles seven months ago, in the 1-0 defeat to Tunisia at the delayed 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and was blamed by home fans for the team’s exit from the tournament, after the 22-year-old failed to keep out Youssef Mskani’s long-range shot, which ended the Eagles’ hopes of winning a fourth AFCON title.

Despite his absence from the team, Eagles goalkeeper trainer Ike Shorunmu still believes Okoye stands a chance of reclaiming his place in the team, but admits he would face stiff competition from duo Francis Uzoho and Adebayo Adeleye, who have been more active for their respective teams so far this season.

Adeleye has kept three clean sheets in four league games, conceding just once in between the sticks for Israeli side Hapoel Jerusalem, while Uzoho, who has been in goal in Okoye’s absence, has made two appearances and let in three goals for Cypriots Omonia Nicosia.

Okoye on his part has made one appearance, conceding twice, since joining the Hornets.

“He (Okoye) is a good goalkeeper and I believe he has the qualities to be No.1, just like the others,” Shorunmu told PUNCH Sports Extra.

“The head coach asked me he wanted to recall him back to the team to see him closely and of course, it came with my support too because I wanted him back in the team when we came on board. But he informed us that he wanted to settle in at his new club. I guess he is settled now ands ready to challenge for his place back in the national team.”


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