African All Stars

Injury worry for Super Eagles as Okoye limps off in Sparta Rotterdam defeat

19:42 EAT 28/11/2021
Maduka Okoye
The Castle Lords were forced to make an early substitution after the Super Eagles goalkeeper collided with an opponent

Nigeria goalkeeper Maduka Okoye suffered a shoulder injury in Sparta Rotterdam's 1-0 loss to Ajax in Sunday's Eredivisie encounter.

He was replaced in the 24th minute after he collided with an opponent and the setback comes as a worry for the Super Eagles, who are getting readdy to feature at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in January.

Although the severity of the blow has not been determined, Okoye's injury is more of a concern for Gernot Rohr's side after they lost star striker Victor Osimhen to a head injury last Sunday

The 22-year-old is the Super Eagles' first-choice goalkeeper and he played a crucial role in their progress to the play-off round of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers after they finished as Group C winners.

Shortly after Okoye's substitution, Dusan Tadic scored the only goal that separated the teams at the Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel.

The result was Sparta Rotterdam's second straight loss in the Dutch top-flight and it left them in the 16th spot with 10 points after 14 matches.

Ajax, on the other hand, stretched their league tally to 33 points having won 10 of their last 14 matches.

Earlier this month, Okoye completed a permanent switch to the Premier League to join Watford on a five-and-a-half-year deal in January.

Even after completing the move next year, the Nigeria star is expected to return to Rotterdam to finish the 2021-22 season on loan.

He is a key fixture in Henk Fraser's team this campaign and he has made 14  league appearances so far. 

Sparta Rotterdam will hope to return to winning ways when they travel to AZ Alkmaar for their next Eredivisie outing on December 5.