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Uzoho on a rescue mission for U-23 against Libya

By John Egbokhan, Asaba
Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho is on a rescue mission to save the national Under-23 team as he yesterday joined the camp of the team, with whom he trained ahead of tomorrow’s return leg of the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya.

Nigeria’s goalkeeper Francis Uzoho dives during a training session at Essentuki Arena in Yessentuki, southern Russia, on June 18, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO /

Nigeria lost the first leg 2-0 in Tunisia last Wednesday and must now score a minimum of three goals without conceding, which is the task that Uzoho is now saddled with to qualify for the tournament. 
 
With the team’s first choice goalkeeper, Adamu Abubakar suspended for the game tomorrow having received a straight red card for ball handling outside the 18-yard box, the onus is now on Uzoho to stop any further rot as the team go for broke tomorrow.

Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr had pointed out that Uzoho would team up with the Under-23 team because he is still within the age bracket and the Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus goaltender was sighted at the team’s evening training yesterday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba ahead of the key clash.
Even though it was from Uzoho’s poor handling of the ball that led to the lone goal conceded by the Super Eagles in Friday’s AFCON qualifier against Seychelles, Rohr insisted that it was just a mistake and that the goalkeeper would come good in forthcoming games.

It is expected that the young goalkeeper is highly favoured to be between the sticks on Monday against the Libyans and should bring his wealth of experience at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on the cracker against the Libyans.

Also joining the team from the Super Eagles was a centre back Chidozie Awaziem, who is expected to be a tower of babel to stop the Libyans from scoring any goal.

Speaking on the game striker Samuel Chukwueze said: “Monday’s match is a must win. We have no excuses to give Nigerians so we’re ready,” the former Golden Eaglets star who was adjudged the third best player of the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile stated.

“I believe in this team, we have everything; talent and hard work, it was just unfortunate we lost the first leg in Libya but we want to make that up with a good match here. We have to beat Libya.

“It will not be a war, we’ll not turn it to war. The Libyans are also ambitious but we are focused and must win, no more excuses this time. By the grace of God, victory will be achieved,” Chukwueze added.

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