Kazier Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has the best chance of starting between the sticks in Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Benin, Gernot Rohr has disclosed.
Rohr invited three goalkeepers – Akpeyi, Katsina United’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Maduka Okoye – for the Super Eagles’ games against the Squirrels on Wednesday and Lesotho on Sunday.
A knee Injury during the last international break ruled Francis Uzoho out of Nigeria’s latest squad after starting their last two games against Ukraine and Brazil.
During a press conference in Uyo, Rohr explained the situation in the goalkeeping department and assessed the chances of each goalkeeper ahead of the encounter at Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
“We are not lucky in this goalkeeper position. If you remember with what already happened before with Carl Ikeme and then we had the problem that Uzoho did not play in his club last season,” he told the media.
“And now he came back then he is injured also. So we are not lucky. But we are working on this position with goalkeeper coach Alloy Agu and other staff.
“For Maduka, it was not easy for him to come into the Brazil match against the best players in the world and to do well. But he doesn’t know like you said, African football. It’s only the first time since he was six years old he was once in Nigeria, coming now for the second time to the country. So you can imagine.
“After only having one training session, to start him would not be a gift for him, perhaps. So we will be very careful, we don’t want to burn him.
“He is here for the future, but we have a chance to see again perhaps Daniel Akpeyi who is doing very well for his club. The no. 1 for Kaizer Chiefs so he has experience in a young team.
“We will see. We have Ezenwa also but he didn’t play much in the league, so I think you can find yourself a solution for tomorrow.”