Nigeria international goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is full of optimism after arriving in the team’s Rabat camp in Morocco on Sunday ahead of their final game in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria on November 10 and international friendly with Argentina four days later.
Thepredictorng.com understands that the goalkeeper is one of first arrivals among the playing personnel alongside the backroom staff of the Nigerian men’s national team.
Ezenwa is excited with another chance to feature in international games for Nigeria after sterling performances over two legs against Cameroon and Zambia in World Cup qualifying games as well as in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) and WAFU Cup of Nations.
“I always cherish any chance to play for my country,” said Ezenwa to thepredictorng.com.
“All I want to do is give in my best. Nothing more.”
Competition for number one spot
Ezenwa will face competition for the goalkeeping role from Chippa United goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and Deportivo La Coruna stopper Francis Uzoho who has been handed his first international call for the Algeria and Argentina games.
Interestingly Ezenwa has been in goal for Nigeria’s last five international matches including the CHAN qualifying games over two legs against Benin Republic.
Surely that puts Ezenwa, who was in goal for FC Ifeanyiubah in last season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) campaign, in quite a decent position to be considered for a starting place in the games against Algeria and Argentina though thepredictorng.com has been informed that Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr could consider fielding Uzoho in one of the games to access him depending on his reflexes in training.
Uzoho has only kept twice in goal for his Spanish La Liga club Deportivo La Coruna. He managed a clean sheet in the two La Liga games and made four saves, conceding once but has no international outing at senior level.
Akpeyi, 31, is quite more experienced at senior level. He has had a chequered year in goal for Nigeria. The Chippa United man got slated for the two-nil loss to South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in June followed up by an injury paved way for Ezenwa to get his chance.
NPFL Stats on Ezenwa
Last season in the NPFL, Ezenwa had limited outing forFC Ifeanyiubah and that was due larger to his consistent trips on international duties with the Super Eagles. He appeared in 14 league matches and kept six clean sheets, conceding 13 goals.
He also saved a spot kick from the two he faced last campaign in the NPFL.
IKECHUKWU EZENWA's stats this #NPFL season
Apps (subs): 14 (0)
Clean sheet: 6
Goals conceded: 13
Penalty faced/saved: 2/1 https://t.co/bXpkki9fve
— NPFL STATISTICS (@NPFLstats) July 28, 2017
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