Maduka Okoye with compatriot Francis Uzoho
Super Eagles goalkeepers Maduka Okoye with compatriot Francis Uzoho

Maduka Okoye Yet To Overcome Pains Of AFCON 2021 Error

3 weeks ago
2 mins read

Close to five years after his goal keeping error fast tracked Super Eagles exit from the 2021 Nations Cup in Cameroon, Maduka Okoye says he wished the error never occurred.

The Super Eagles, under then coach Augustine Eguavoen, crashed out in the round of 16, losing by a lone goal to Tunisia.

The Eagles had prior to that match, posted impressive run giving a lot of hopes to their fans that they will go far in the tournament, especially after winning their group matches with ease beating Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau in the bargain.

Okoye misjudged a shot from Youssef Msakni, with the ball creeping past him and went into the net. It ironically marked the last time the former Watford ace, has been given opportunity to play for the Eagles.

Okoye who signed for Seria A club Udinese in 2023, for undisclosed fee, recently bared his mind in a chat with Oma Akatugba on the hidden pain of the tournament, which has since been overtaken by another held in Cote d Ivoire where the Eagles went all the way to the final before losing to hosts Cote d Ivoire.

He said: “At that moment, I told myself I should have done better. It pains me till today, to be honest.

“You could see it was a mistake because I had to keep the ball out of the goal. If I want to play at Inter Milan, then I have to do better in such situations.

“I’ve been training hard, improving in the last two years because I don’t want things like that to happen again.

“Mistakes happen, last week, Manuel Neuer, who is one of the best, made a mistake. It’s part of the game, and it was hard for me as a young boy to go through it after it happened.

“I’m not just talking about what I read on social media, it’s more about the feeling of letting your teammates down, your family down, and letting your country down.

“At this stage, I’m not even reading the nonsense on social media anymore. Some people still talk bad about Cristiano Ronaldo despite his achievements.

READ ALSO Super Eagles Back In The Country, Vow To Fight Harder For World Cup Ticket

“People will always say something bad about you. I know myself that I didn’t do good in that situation, and I know that I let my teammates and my country down in that situation.

“And I’m still to this day unhappy and sad about it, and I wish I could do differently, but it happened and I learned from my mistake.”

Okoye however remains optimistic that the future is bright and that time as greatest of wounds will do the needful.

Fans of the 24-year-old goal tender however say he shouldn’t be too hard on himself as he is not the only one in the boat. They cited  the  Francis Uzoho error  at the MKO Abiola Stadium, that caused the Super Eagles ticket to the last World Cup in Qatar after they failed to win the two legged play-off against Black Stars of Ghana.

A fan @AJSilverCFC assured him “This is your home forever and we will always support you through thick and thin!”

julius

Julius Okorie is Chief Sports and Entertainment Correspondent for Prime Business Africa. He began his journalism career with the Champion Newspaper and Sporting Champion and later moved on to Daily Independent and the Nation Newspapers. Okorie joined Prime Business Africa in 2024 bringing on board 20 years of experience in writing investigative news on Sports and Entertainment. His well researched and highly informative articles on Sports Business and general entertainment are followed by a wide range of audience.

Julius Okorie is Chief Sports and Entertainment Correspondent for Prime Business Africa. He began his journalism career with the Champion Newspaper and Sporting Champion and later moved on to Daily Independent and the Nation Newspapers. Okorie joined Prime Business Africa in 2024 bringing on board 20 years of experience in writing investigative news on Sports and Entertainment. His well researched and highly informative articles on Sports Business and general entertainment are followed by a wide range of audience.

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