Rohr Hopeful on Uzoho Injury
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has just one prayer point right now: to have his number one goalkeeper Francis Uzoho back in action next month ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Uzoho landed awkwardly in Nigeria’s 1:1 draw against Brazil on Sunday and suffered an injury which ensured he was replaced in the game. Speaking after the encounter, Rohr says he hopes Uzoho “will not be out for a long time.”
“Francis had a great match, he regret so much his injury,” Rohr told the NFF media. “I hope he will not be out for a long time cos we have two important matches to play against Benin in Nigeria and Lesotho all in one month. So we have a lot of work to do.”
The extent of Uzoho’s injury and time of recovery is not known yet as Rohr says the goalkeeper will “have examinations” on the injury today “so we will see exactly.”
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles manager was pleased with Uzoho’s replacement in the game, 20 year old Okoye Maduka.
“We saw three new players, still very young players, goalkeeper Maduka is 20, so we are working for the future,” Rohr said. He also explained why the Fortuna Dusseldorf keeper was chosen as Uzoho’s replacement ahead of the more experienced Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
“We decided to put in Maduka because Ezenwa didn’t play since a few months not even in the CHAN team. So, he didn’t have any experience of the competition in the last three months. So, we decided to play with Maduka cos he had this competition in his club.”
Nigeria’s Joe Aribo scored in the 35th minute of the first half before Casemiro equalised three minutes after the restart in the International Friendly played at the Singapore National Stadium, Kallang.
Nigeria’s manager, Rohr was quite pleased with the “fighting spirit” from his players.
He said: “It’s not only the point, it’s also the fighting spirit from my team against one of the best teams in the world who have technically the best players, so we did very well.”
“We opened the scoring and wanted to win the match but they are coming in the second half, they didn’t want to leave Singapore without beating an African team, they made a draw against Senegal,” Rohr added.