Stanley Nwabali maintains that he is not the preferred goalkeeper for the Super Eagles

Stanley Nwabali maintains that he is not the preferred goalkeeper for the Super Eagles

Stanley Nwabali’s Humble Outlook Amidst Goalkeeping Success

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, maintains a humble stance on his role in the team, asserting that he does not consider himself the first-choice goalkeeper, despite playing in every 2023 AFCON match so far.

The Road to Inclusion: A Social Media Callout

Nwabali’s inclusion in the Super Eagles squad for the 2023 AFCON came about after a wave of Nigerian fans on social media urged coach Jose Peseiro to pay attention to the goalkeeper.

The 27-year-old Chippa United player stepped into the team during a goalkeeper crisis, prompted by dissatisfaction with Francis Uzoho’s performance at Omonia.

From Crisis to Consistency: Nwabali’s Steady Presence

Notably, coach Jose Peseiro has consistently selected Nwabali since their pre-AFCON friendly against Guinea, even though it resulted in a 1-0 defeat for the Nigerian team.

The goalkeeper’s involvement continued, and he played a crucial role in the 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea, showcasing remarkable confidence.

Defensive Leadership: Nwabali’s Impact on Clean Sheets

Nwabali’s ability to organize the defense and maintain composure under pressure has been evident, contributing to two consecutive clean sheets in the subsequent 2023 AFCON matches against Ivory Coast (1-0 win for Nigeria) and Guinea-Bissau (1-0 win for Nigeria).

Despite widespread perceptions of him as the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, Nwabali modestly rejects this label.

Nwabali’s Perspective: Opportunity and Dedication

Expressing his perspective, Nwabali emphasizes, “I am still not seeing myself as number one; I always say this, I only have an opportunity, and I just want to play and give my best.”

His focus lies on making the most of the chance presented to him.

Team Dynamics and Qualification

Addressing concerns about the team’s struggle for goals, Nwabali points to the presence of players like Victor Osimhen and emphasizes that their primary focus is on securing three points rather than solely on scoring goals.

With the team having successfully qualified, Nwabali reflects on the positive feeling following their recent win over Guinea-Bissau.

Anticipation for Round of 16: Nwabali’s Expected Role

Looking ahead, Stanley Nwabali is anticipated to continue as the goalkeeper when the Super Eagles face Cameroon in the 2023 AFCON round of 16 on Saturday, January 27, at 9 p.m.

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