Revealed: Why Uzoho is set to replace Nwabali in Super Eagles' Ghana and Mali clashes

Francis Uzoho set to return in between the sticks for Nigeria. (Photo Credit: Imago)

Revealed: Why Uzoho is set to replace Nwabali in Super Eagles' Ghana and Mali clashes

Izuchukwu Akawor 08:41 - 10.03.2024

Francis Uzoho and Stanley Nwabali were named in the Super Eagles team to face Ghana and Mali in Morocco.

Forgotten Francis Uzoho looks set to replace the injured Stanley Nwabali in Nigeria's goal for this month's international friendlies against Ghana and Mali in Morocco.

Pulse Sports Nigeria reports that Nwabali, who was the Super Eagles' first-choice goalkeeper at the recent Africa Cup of Nations, is a major doubt after picking up an injury during a league game for Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

Uzoho to replace Nwabali?

The 27-year-old was forced off after 73 minutes of Sundowns' 2-0 victory over Chippa United on Saturday, sparking concerns over his availability for the friendlies in Marrakech.

Nwabali starred for Nigeria at AFCON 2023, breaking the national team's clean sheet record en route to their final defeat against host nation Ivory Coast.

Stanley Nwabali could miss the matches against Ghana and Mali.
Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was a revelation at the AFCON 2023.

His impressive performances saw him establish himself as Jose Peseiro's number one, displacing Uzoho who had been the regular starter between the sticks for the Super Eagles.

However, this untimely injury setback now looks to have opened the door for Uzoho to regain his spot for the double-header against West African rivals Ghana and Mali on March 22nd and 26th.

Francis Uzoho in action for Nigeria.
will Francis Uzoho get another chance? (Photo Credit: Twitter/CAF)

The 25-year-old, who plays his club football for Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia, was Nigeria's at the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon. 

Uzoho had been ever-present in goal during the Super Eagles' qualification campaign for the 34th edition prior to being replaced by Nwabali in Cote d'Ivoire.

AFCON hero Stanley Nwabali.
Fans welcome Stanley Nwabali at Port Elizabeth. (Photo Credit: Chippa United/X)

With Nwabali struggling for fitness, the Super Eagles selectors may opt to recall the familiar Uzoho for the tests against Ghana, who edged Nigeria in a dramatic 2022 World Cup playoff, and Mali.

Enyimba’s Ojo Olorunleke completes the trio of goalkeepers named in the 26-man Nigerian squad for Morocco, as they begin building towards qualifying for the 2025 edition of AFCON.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho || Imago

But all eyes will be on Uzoho and whether he can regain the gloves and pull off a couple of signature stunning saves against the Black Stars and the Malian Eagles.

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