Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme would miss the double header World Cup Qualifier against Cameroon on September 1 and 4 as he was diagnosed with acute leukemia during a routine pre-season medical check-up.
We take a look at available options that could be the first choice for Gernot Rohr’s side in this crunch clash.
Daniel Akpeyi: The Chippa United goalkeeper has always been second choice to Ikeme and has started in his absence previously. However he has been heavily criticized for his below average performances while manning the sticks for Nigeria.
In the second qualifier against Algeria in Uyo, Akpeyi was terrible, committing so many blunders that Ikeme would not make. He did likewise in the friendly against Senegal and the Afcon qualifier defeat to South Africa. Akpeyi has not shown signs of a goalkeeper that communicates well with his defence and struggles in dealing with crosses from the flanks.
Despite this deficiency, the Chippa United man looks poised to be given the nod against the Indomitable Lions.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa: The FC Ifeanyi Ubah shot stopper was in goal in the recent friendly matches against Corsica and Togo and gave a good account of himself in both matches.
Ezenwa is the first choice for the NPFL All stars team and has also been in good form for the Anambra Warrirors in the NPFL. The former Flying Eagles goalie looks like a risk worth taking against the reigning African Champions.
Vincent Enyeama: The 101-capped Nigeria international has been rumoured to be given an invitation by Rohr to come and out retirement and play again. Football fans also voice their approval of his recall.
Enyeama retired from international football after a bust up with former Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh in 2015 and was recently made surplus to requirement at French club Lille through text by coach Marcelo Bielsa. Enyeama’s experience is second to none in the current Nigerian team and with the 35-year old not looking like he wants to quit playing for good, this is an opportunity for a second entry.
Emmanuel Daniel: The Enugu Rangers International goalie is yet to get a Super Eagles call-up despite impressing largely for the junior national teams. He was in phenomenal form at the 2015 All Africa Games, U-23 African Championship and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Daniel played four games at the Olympics after relegating Daniel Akpeyi to second choice. His performances at the U-23 African Championship were outstanding with spectacular saves for Dream Team VI all through the tournament, including two penalty saves during 90 minutes of football against Algeria and Senegal both in the semi-final and final respectively.
He has recently been released by Orlando Pirates having failed to make a single appearance for the South African outfit since joining in January. This puts him at a disadvantage ahead of the Cameroon tie but anything could still happen that swings in his favour.
Dele Alampasu: The 2013 U-17 World Cup Golden Glove winner is the current Super Eagles third choice goalkeeper and plies his trade for CD Feirense in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
He has majorly been used as a backup for the national team and this crucial game against the next door neighbours could be the perfect game to show his worth. With the unavailability of the stable Carl Ikeme, Gernot Rohr might want to take a gamble with Alampasu.
Who is your choice among the listed goalkeepers? Drop your response in the comments box.
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