AFCON 2021 blunder still hurts – Okoye

By Daily Sports Nigeria on June 29, 2024

Udinese goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, has reflected on his 2021 AFCON blunder, which led to the elimination of the Super Eagles from the tournament in Cameroon, admitting that he could have done better, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Over two years since Tunisia beat Nigeria 1-0 in the last 16 of the AFCON in Cameroon, the goalkeeper has been away from the national team until he was recalled by coach Finidi George for the two 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

Although the 24-year-old was not handed the shirt to rival new fan favourite Stanley Nwabali in both games, Okoye seems to be at peace again with the feeling of being back in the national team.

“Not just when I look back, even at the moment, I knew I had to do better and it pains me today to be honest,” Okoye said via Oma Sports TV.

“It was hard for me as a young boy to go through that and I’m not just talking about what I heard or read on social media, it’s the feeling of letting your teammates, family and country down.”

Since turning his career around with consistent performance for Udinese in the Serie A, Okoye has been linked with a move to Inter Milan and he hopes to keep up his steady improvement.

“It was a mistake, and we have talked about Inter Milan and if I want to be at Inter Milan, I have to do better in such situations. And this is what I did for the last couple of years, I improved, I trained hard, I don’t want a thing like that to happen again.”

He has managed four clean sheets in 20 Serie A appearances this season, winning a few Man of the Match and Udinese Player of The Month awards.

Source Punch Ng

Posted June 29, 2024


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