Former Nigeria senior national team, the Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu is harbouring fears that Ghana may take advantage of a weakness he sees in the current team to beat them to a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup when the two nations face off in the last playoff on March 25 and 29 respectively.
The three times Afrca Cup of Nations medalist has asked the Super Eagles interim coach, Austine Eguavoen and his backroom staff to pay keen attention to the team’s goalkeeping department and seal the loopholes if Nigeria is to qualify ahead of Ghana to the World Cup in Qatar later in November this year.
According to the 2000 AFCON silver medalist, the Eagles’ 1-0 defeat to Tunisia in the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon at the Round of 16 was due to a goalkeeping error, and Eguavoen must do everything to ensure that the Super Eagles avoid the same error that cost the team in the game against Tunisia at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) if the team must qualify for Qatar 2022 ahead of the Black Stars of Ghana.
For the records, Nigeria were booted out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in the Round of 16 by Tunisia following a 47th minute first half strike from Youssef Msakni in Garoua. Sections of the Nigerian fans blamed the Nigeria goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for the goal, and Ike Shorunmu, who won bronze twice with Nigeria at the 1992 and 2002 AFCON, is convinced that the fans were right.
The Black Stars of Ghana will host the Super Eagles on Friday, 25th March at the Cape Coast sports stadium for the first leg of the World Cup playoff before jetting off to Abuja for the reverse encounter four days later. Ike Shorunmu, 54, does not have confidence in the current goalkeeping department of Nigeria, and has urged the technical team to work on immediately before facing Ghana.
“Even though I know that we have quality players that can get the job done against the Black Stars of Ghana, however, I am still worried that we don’t have so much confidence in the goalkeeping department, Shorunmu told Completesports as quoted by dailypost.ng.
“We must avoid the same error that cost Nigeria the game against Tunisia if the team must qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. The technical crew must focus on the goalkeeping department before Ghana’s clash.”
Goalkeeper Ike Shorunmu also played for Nigeria in 2002 FIFA World Cup finals hosted by Korea-Japan.