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Uzoho, Nigeria’s number one – Super Eagles coach confirms Okoye is down the pecking order

The two young goalkeepers have been Nigeria’s top-rated shot-stoppers over the past few months despite their unimpressive turnout

Super Eagles goalkeeper coach Ike Shorunmu has reiterated that Omonia Nicosia ace Francis Uzoho is Nigeria’s number one shot-stopper at the moment.

Uzoho has been in a straight battle with Maduka Okoye for the Super Eagles’ top gloves recently, with the former Sparta Rotterdam signing edging the rivalry until now.

Okoye was in between the sticks for the Super Eagles during the 2021 Afcon and 2022 World Cup qualifiers and was the numero uno at the African championship in Cameroon earlier this year.

But Uzoho has been the preferred option since Portuguese manager Jose Peseiro took charge of the national team.

Regularly sitting on the bench at Watford also does not help matters for Okoye.

Uzoho has kept goal in each of the Super Eagles’ last six matches under Peseiro, including this month’s humiliating 4-0 loss to Portugal in Lisbon.

Eagles goalkeeper trainer Ike Shorunmu insists that the team’s door remains open to goalies in the Nigeria Football Professional League.

The former international, however, admits that Uzoho will hold on to the Super Eagles’ number one gloves in the meantime.

“We are looking inwards to get credible goalkeepers from the domestic league,” Shorunmu told the Guardian.

“As you can see, the Nigeria Professional Football League has not been active, and we cannot assess the goalkeepers right now.

“So, Uzoho will remain the first-choice goalkeeper till a better keeper is discovered from the NPFL or any other league.

“I have been an advocate of sourcing for keepers in the domestic scene, and that vision still stands. The doors are still open for more keepers to compete in the national team.”

Uzoho endured a difficult weekend in Cyprus as he conceded four goals in Omonia Nicosia’s heavy loss to APOEL.

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