Enyimba Goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai has finally been given the opportunity to stake his claim to the Super Eagles number one shirt.
He is replacing the custodian of the position Francis Uzoho, who was injured at the weekend in a Spanish second division game.
Super Eagles’ Manager, Gernot Rohr disclosed yesterday that Afelokhai and the other two regular goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa would get equal opportunity to fight for the position ahead of the African Nations Cup qualifier against Bafana Bafana of South Africa and the international friendly with Uganda this month.
Nigeria will travel to Johannesburg to keep a date with the Bafana Bafana in the race to Cameroun 2019 and return to take on Uganda three days later in Asaba.
In the first encounter between the Super Eagles and South Africa in Uyo, the Bafana Bafana ran away with a 2-0 victory. But Rohr is boasting that his lads will get their pound of flesh in Johannesburg.
Speaking through Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, Rohr said he chose to replace the injured Uzoho with Afelokhai due to the Enyimba goalkeeper’s recent form, adding that he would give them equal opportunity to grab the number position.
The Franco-German said he is not worried by Uzoho’s absence because any of the keepers in camp is good enough to mount the sticks in Johannesburg.
Rohr also revealed that he has been working on getting his team ready for the game in South Africa, saying he is currently reviewing past videos of matches featuring the Bafana Bafana to have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses.
He added that arrangement has been concluded to ensure the early arrival of the players in their new camp in Asaba, which will hold the international friendly against Uganda immediately after the African Nations Cup qualifier in Johannesburg.
“The three goalkeepers now have the opportunity to prove their worth in training to ascertain who gets the first team shirt. There is no automatic shirt for any of the goalkeepers invited for the game.
“Our camp will open on Monday in Asaba, Delta State and we are expected to depart Asaba on a chartered flight on Thursday or Friday for South Africa.
After the game in South Africa, the Super Eagles will return to the country for the international friendly against Uganda taking place in Asaba,” he said.
The Guardian learnt that one of the former regular goalkeepers in the team would be dropped after the matches if Afelokhai proved better than them.
This is because the coaches want to maintain only three goalkeepers in the team at every campaign.
Calf Injury Taints Man Utd’s Fellaini’s January Transfer
Marouane Fellaini has suffered a calf injury and will be out for up to four weeks thereby ruling him out of January move away from Manchester United.
Interim boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disclosed this in a press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Brighton that the, Fellaini “will be out for at least three or four weeks. He’s got a calf problem and that is sad.”
The 31-year-old was linked with a move to AC Milan and Porto but the injury he suffered during training means he will is staying put at Old Trafford.
The Belgian midfielder has made just one substitute appearance since the interim manager took over from Jose Mourinho.
Australian Open: Sharapova Defeats Wozniacki To Reach Fourth Round
Defending Champion, Caroline Wozniacki was stunned by Maria Sharapova in a three set game that lasted two hours twenty-four minutes at the Australian Open tournament.
31-years-old, Sharapova, grabbed the last four games to eliminate Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
Sharapova said “I haven’t played many matches in the last year, especially against top players, and these are the kinds of matches I train for. Experience is priceless but you still have to work for it,” she said after the game. She will now face 15 seeded, Ashleigh Barty, who defeated Maria Sakkari.
Sharapova won the Australian Open in 2008 which happens to be one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn’t been past the quarterfinals since 2015. She was banned in March 2016 for failing drug test, after which she returned after a 15-month suspension.
AFCON 2019: Gernot Rohr Rules Out Bench Warmers From Tournament
Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has ruled out bench warmers from the team that will try to win the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations for a fourth time.
Rohr says only exceptionally good players playing regularly for their clubs, would be included in the Super Eagles final list for this year’s tournament in Egypt.
Rohr says he has a list of at least 50 players that were under consideration and would be monitored by his assistants in the run up to Egypt 2019.
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