NFF Singles Out Francis Uzoho For Opprobrium After Algeria Defeat
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By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has singled out goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho for criticism after the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to Desert Foxes of Algeria in an international friendly match in Oran Tuesday, Bestchoicesports.com.ng reports.
Uzoho who was preferred in-between the sticks over Maduka Okoye conceded two goals after the Super Eagles had taken the lead in the early begining.
Although the NFF considered the first goal as a “controversial penalty”, in a release signed by the Head of Communication, Ademola Olajire, the federation lashed out on Mr Uzoho for conceding the second.
“The Super Eagles, who were missing several first-team players including strikers Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and defenders William Ekong and Jamilu Collins, created a hatful of chances in a frenetic first half that would have made the game a fait accompli.
“The hosts wrapped up the game when Youcef Atal, latching on to a free ball from 28 yards after a corner kick was poorly cleared, slammed past a badly-positioned Uzoho,” the NFF said.
This is not the first time the federation is coming hard on their players after a bad outing. The NFF on September 21, 2021 singled out Desire Oparanozie for criticism following Super Falcons 4-2 defeat in the final of the Aisha Buhari tournament against South Africa in Lagos.
“France-based forward Desire Oparanozie was most awful on the evening, squandering a half-dozen opportunities, easily conceding possession and literally playing against her own team,” the federation said in a nasty press release.
Following public outcry, the NFF however retracted the comment and reissued another presser thereafter.
Riyad Mahrez scored scored a penalty in the 40th minute to cancel out Terem Moffi’s 9th minutes opener for Nigeria before a 28-yard scorcher by Youcef Atal in the 61st minute condemned the Super Eagles to yet another defeat against Algeria’s Desert Foxesin Oran on Tuesday night.
Nigeria had gone ahead in the 9th minute when France –based Terem Moffi escaped the attentions of Algerian defenders and hooked the ball into the net as a shot by defender Calvin Bassey was deflected in a goalmouth melee.
Two –time African champions Algeria came close to getting the equalizer 10 minutes later, when goalkeeper Francis Uzoho upended Riyad Mahrez in the box from a counter-attack, but the hosts had already been caught off-side.
Minutes later, the Super Eagles thought they were 2-0 up when Ademola Lookman finished calmly as they counter-attacked, but Algerian referee Mehrez Melki ruled it off-side.
Mahrez would level up for the North Africans five minutes from recess, when he coolly slotted past Uzoho after referee Melki adjudged that Frank Onyeka had fouled Youcef Belaili in the Nigerian box.
The Super Eagles, who were missing several first-team players including strikers Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and defenders William Ekong and Jamilu Collins, created a hatful of chances in a frenetic first half that would have made the game a fait accompli.
The hosts wrapped up the game when Youcef Atal, latching on to a free ball from 28 yards after a corner kick was poorly cleared, slammed past a badly-positioned Uzoho.
Nigeria will next face Portugal in a friendly match in Lisbon on 17th November.