Goalkeepers can be the Super Eagles game changers at next year’s Afcon – Rufai

Goalkeepers can be the Super Eagles game changers at next year’s Afcon – Rufai 1

The former Nigerian international believes the number one position is as important as the striker’s role, and it could play a key role in Nigeria’s quest to win her fourth continental title

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Peter Rufai believes the team’s current goalkeepers will be vital in the team’s mission to win next year’s Africa Cup of Nations. 

With Maduka Okoye, who played a crucial role in the team’s qualification for the tournament, assured of his number one position and others like Francis Uzoho and Daniel Akpeyi in the team, the Super Eagles are not short of options in the goalkeeping position. 

Rufai, a member of the Super Eagles side that won the 1994 AFCON in Tunisia, told Soccernet.ng in a chat that the same attention placed on the strikers should be put on the goalkeepers. 

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“I really don’t know why so much noise has made on the Super Eagles strikers banging in the goals in Europe for their respective clubs without attention been focused on the goalkeeping department,” he said

“If the strikers are banging the goals for the Super Eagles in a competition, and our goalkeepers failed to keep a clean sheet, of what benefit will that be for the team.

“The truth is the goalkeeping department will play a key role for Nigeria at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Yes, we have Maduka Okoye, Francis Uzoho, and a few to mention. However, are they are on the same level in terms of performance with our strikers.

“They are good goalkeepers, but we need to pay attention to them so that we can get the best from them,” he concluded. 

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The three-time AFCON champions finished their 2021 Afcon qualifying campaign unbeaten, winning four matches and drawing just two.

The Gernot Rohr tutored side have now qualified for two tournaments unbeaten- the 2018 World Cup and the just concluded 2021 Afcon qualifiers.