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Eguavoen: Why Maduka Okoye shouldn’t be blamed for Tunisia’s goal

Eguavoen: Why Maduka Okoye shouldn’t be blamed for Tunisia’s goal
January 24
15:27 2022

Austin Eguavoen, Super Eagles interim head coach, says Maduka Okoye shouldn’t be faulted for the goal that resulted in Nigeria’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Eagles were eliminated on Sunday after losing 1-0 to Tunisia in the second round of the tournament.

A Youssef Mskani’s shot, in the 47th minute, weaved through a tangle of Nigerian limbs and pushed past the left arm of Okoye into the top corner.

Several Nigerian football fans have blamed the goalkeeper for the goal, adding that the shot should have been a routine save for the 22-year-old.

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However, in a chat with reporters on Monday in Garoua, Eguavoen said, “it’s a collective thing” because Mskani should have been closed off by other players before he took the shot.

He also added that the lightness of the Toghu – the tournament’s official match ball – propelled a deceptive swerve that made it impossible for Okoye to stop the goal.

“You have to look at where the action started. Not just the goal now but where the action started from. It could have been stopped,” Eguavoen said.

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“And again, somebody didn’t close down, and these balls are so light these days, just like the Jabulani ball, and it came through bodies before the young man could see it, the ball took a swerve a little bit.

“So saying that the goal was completely Okoye’s fault, I don’t agree. It’s a collective thing, and we must look at where it originated from and not just the final stage.”

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