By John Egbokhan
Nigeria ’s under-23 goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai has blamed his defenders for their defective wall which allowed Ghana to score the first goal, during the weekend’s All Africa Games qualifying match held at the Baba Yara Sports Complex in Kumasi .
Afelokhai, who plays for Kano Pillars, stood in for injured Dele Ajiboye in the crunch clash but conceded two goals that saw to the elimination of the Nigerian team from the race to play at the Maputo Games, holding this September.
The first goal was scored in the 10th minute by Agyemang Badu, who hit a free kick that many thought goalkeeper Afelokhai should have saved but the ball kissed the back of the net, sending the shouting Ghanaian fans into scenes of jubilation.
Recounting on what went wrong in the game yesterday, the Edo-born goal-tender, said that his wall was not properly positioned, despite his many shouts to his defenders to arrange themselves to forestall any goal from being conceded.
“I feel really bad with what happened yesterday (Sunday), especially with the way the first goal was scored because I had formed the wall and they took the freekick but the referee ordered for a retake.
“And as my players were trying to form it again, I was shouting to them that they were not in order but I guess because of the noise from the Ghanaian fans they did not hear me clearly and that allowed the ball to pass through the gap which they created.
“And the ball also played a jabulani on me because as I made to rescue the situation, it swerved like Jabulani (The 2010 official World Cup ball) and before I could reach it, it was in the net. I feel terrible that I conceded two goals and caused our inability to qualify for the All Africa Games. I apologise to Nigerians but there are days like these in football”, added Afelokhai.