WC Qualification Africa

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Eguavoen gives Okoye hint after missing Ghana trip

00:14 EAT 24/03/2022
Maduka Okoye - Nigeria
The Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper is recovering from sickness and has been replaced by the Enyimba star for the trip to Kumasi

Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen has hinted Maduka Okoye could return for the second leg match against Ghana in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

Okoye was replaced in Super Eagles selection on Tuesday by Enyimba’s John Noble which leaves Kaizer Chiefs’ Daniel Akpeyi and Omonia Nicosia's Francis Uzoho as options for the no. 1 role between the sticks.

Ahead of Friday’s encounter at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Eguavoen gave an update on the 22-year-old who will miss the trip to Ghana on Thursday.

“He (Okoye) has flu and will miss the first leg in Ghana,” Eguavoen said in a press conference.

“Should he recover in time, he could be involved in the return leg in Abuja.”

Meanwhile, Eguavoen defended his decision to call Noble as a replacement for Okoye, after consulting his former teammate Finidi George who is the Enyimba coach.

“Noble was actually subbed in the last game against Wikki Tourists. I heard a couple of news but I had to call my colleague whom I hold in high esteem Finidi George to find out what the situation with Noble was," he said.

"He has been in goal for the last four games and then Finidi told me everything is alright. I called the medical team there and they said everything is okay so that's what informed us.

"Every other person that has not played until now in the goalkeeping department, everybody has a chance. We just pray we keep winning.”

Noble was an unused substitute for Nigeria at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and he was also part of the Super Eagles squad in certain World Cup qualifying games.