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Super Eagles are ready for 2021 Afcon – Sparta Rotterdam’s Okoye

18:59 BST 07/06/2021
Maduka Okoye
Despite losing to the Indomitable Lions, the goalkeeper has stated that the three-time African kings are prepared for the biennial African showpiece

Goalkeeper Maduka Okoye believes Nigeria are ready for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations despite losing to Cameroon last Friday.

Gernot Rohr’s men played well against the five-time African kings, but they were silenced 1-0 at the Wiener Neustadt Stadium.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s 37th-minute encounter separated the two teams in the affair that saw Abraham Marcus, Valentine Ozornwafor and Terem Moffi make their international debuts.

Even at the loss, the Sparta Rotterdam star picked some positives while saying they are prepared for the next African football showpiece.

He also expressed the Eagles’ readiness to square up against Toni Conceicao’s men for the second international friendly.

“We have taken some positives from the first match against Cameroon,” Okoye was quoted by NFF media.

“We had a good game and it was unfortunate that they scored with just that one shot on target.

“However, we have shown that we are ready for the Afcon with the strength of character we showed after conceding the goal. We are ready to go for it on Tuesday.”

In the same vein, captain Ahmed Musa has assured Nigerians that Tuesday’s encounter would be approached differently.

“We are not happy to have created so many chances and fail to score,” the Kano Pillars forward said.

“We will approach the game differently on Tuesday. Cameroon is a big rival and we are not happy to have lost the game on Friday.”

Veteran Nigerian coach Henry Makinwa had told Goal that Friday’s defeat to the Indomitable Lions was nothing to lose sleep over.

“No cause for alarm because defeat is a possibility in football. Now that we ended up on the losing side, it should be taken as a loss as nothing more,” Makinwa told Goal.

“Before the game against Cameroon, it was obvious that Nigeria could not use all their players due to injuries, logistic reasons and maybe restrictions on travelling due to Covid-19.”

The West Africans are billed to take on Mexico at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 3 before taking on Cape Verde and Liberia in September’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers.