Goalkeeper Agbim asks for forgiveness after error-strewn performance

The national team coach looks set to continue with the goalkeeper despite his less than stellar performances in the two matches the team has played

Nigeria goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim has offered apology to the country after his mistakes allowed the team concede two goals in Wednesday’s 4-2 defeat of Mozambique at the African Nations Championship.

The Super Eagles needed to win the game after losing their opening game 2-1 against Mali.

They went behind early when Dario Khan scored a long range free kick that flew above Agbim before another miscalculated dive by the goalkeeper allowed Aberto Diogo score a second one 10 minutes later to even scores after Ifeanyi Ede and Rabiu Ali had given the west Africans the lead.

Nigeria managed to win the game scoring twice in the second half but were always in constant fear that their defence and goalkeeper could once more capitulate.

“No goalkeeper in the world will be happy to concede cheap goals and for a keeper of my calibre I am most disappointed than anyone else but that is football and I can’t dwell in the past,” Agbim has said.

“I have to forget and plead with fans of the game to understand and forgive so that we can jointly forge ahead. I promise that I will do better next time and it’s a promise I wish to keep.”

Agbim has been a constant feature in the squads of Stephen Keshi since he took charge of the national team in November 2011.

The Enugu Rangers goalkeeper, who is also captain of the Super Eagles B Team and is expected to be part of the country’s squad to the World Cup, has received support from the coach.

“It’s a team work and we cannot single out one individual for blame, otherwise we had a situation in the game against Mozambique when a player had an empty net and yet could not slot the ball in until the opposing defender cleared it,” said Keshi.

“I have worked with Agbim now for two years plus and if he was not good he will not be here. We must learn to understand our players and forgive errors, especially as he is the last man in the defence and his own errors are easily seen by all,” the coach said.

Nigeria will face South Africa in their last Group A game on Sunday, an encounter they must win if they are to make it into the knockout rounds.