AFCON 2021: Former Super Eagles star blames Okoye for Tunisia defeat

The Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper could not keep out the fierce drive that handed the Carthage Eagles a shock win on Sunday evening

Former Nigeria international Julius Aghahowa has expressed his disappointment at Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for conceding the goal that knocked Nigeria out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Augustine Eguavoen’s men had performed so brilliantly in Cameroon until they met the Tunisians in the first knockout round of the tournament.

Okoye had conceded just once in three group stage games. 

But a long-range strike off the boots of forward Youssef Msakni somehow beat the 22-year-old in the Nigerian goal barely a minute into the second half.

Despite getting reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Alex Iwobi, the Super Eagles responded well to going behind but could not carve out the vital equaliser.

The defeat ended Nigeria’s dream of a fourth continental crown, leaving Aghahowa hurt and disappointed.

And the 2002 Afcon top goalscorer insists the young Nigerian goalkeeper is to blame for the loss.

“Okoye should have saved that ball because he saw the ball coming towards his direction,” Aghahowa told Brila FM.

“I am really disappointed and feel he should have done better. This was a game we don’t deserve to lose at all. But it has happened, and we have to accept our fate.”

Cameroon 2021 is only the fourth time in 19 appearances that Nigeria will return from the Afcon championship without a medal.

The Eagles’ proud continental record reads three winners’ medals, four silver medals, and eight bronze medals.

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