Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr expressed his displeasure with Daniel Akpeyi’s attempt to dribble in his own box during their opening Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) match against Burundi.
Akpeyi was handed the no. 1 shirt ahead of Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, and he played a crucial role in helping the Super Eagles secure a 1-0 victory on Saturday with key saves.
Despite his heroics between the sticks, Akpeyi nearly cost the three-time African champions a goal with his errors, notably the poor control of a back pass from Ola Aina in the first half.
Following their winning start in Egypt, Rohr said that he is satisfied with the 32-year-old’s overall display and assured that the goalkeeper’s movement will be worked on in training.
“The goalkeeper did not concede a goal which is good for him and for the team, and he stopped a wonderful opportunity in the first half and as you know that the first goal is the most important, so in that situation, he was really very good,” Rohr was quoted as saying.
“Then we know that sometimes there can also be mistakes like what happened when he tried to dribble with the ball. I didn’t like that he did it but we will try to make it better next time.
“But what I saw from him in the last three weeks was really so good in the training sessions that today [Saturday] he was our number 1.”
Nigeria currently lead Group B with three points after their opening game. They are set to face Guinea for their next group fixture at the Alexandria Stadium on Wednesday.