For many weeks, we talked about it, we speculated, we waited, we anticipated and then it was released. The list of players to dance their way to hearts and minds of many Super fans this month as I expect them to blow the Sierra Leoneans away with relative ease!
Am I being overly disrespectful to the Leone Stars? I dont think so. I have every confidence in these group of players, not only to get the job done, but to do so in style and by so doing repay the enormous and immutable faith that we invest in them.
As we approach the match, Afrofooty provides report card on each of the listed players in the Super Eagles squad for Sierra Leone:
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa): how on earth Daniel Akpeyi is still a Nigeria international to this day is beyond me. I stand to be corrected but the 31 year old must hold the distinction of being the most vilified Nigerian goalkeeper in the last 20 years. I doubt Chidozie Agbim had it this bad.
But, where other have fallen, Akpeyi soldiers on.
Off the wall performances in South Africa means Akpeyi is one of the best African goalkeeper at present.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC):
After being named as number 2 in the Afcon, Ezenwa would make his tournament debut against India only to concede Nigeria’s first and second goals of the tournament.
We might as well have been playing India as Nigeria had no business losing to Madagascar in my humble opinion. Many Super Eagles fans will love to see the back of Ezenwa in Super Eagles colours but those fans have a while yet to wait.
Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany): As Uzoho left off injured against Brazil last year, Okoye was called upon to stand in between the sticks. Some thought the young German-Nigerian would be exposed (and I think Okoye too had his trepidations). But it went well on that occasion.
Many still question the wisdom of inviting a lower league goalkeeper to the Super Eagles – they have to live with it. Okoye seems here to stay.