Gernot Rohr praises Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho after win over Argentina – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Gernot Rohr praises Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho after win over Argentina

Nigeria’s head coach, German Gernot Rohr reacts, during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 13:30

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has singled out Brian Idowu and Francis Uzoho for special praise after his side defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly in Krasnodar on Tuesday evening.

The Super Eagles found themselves 2-0 down to ‘La Albiceleste’, but a brace from Alex Iwobi and goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Idowu saw them claim an impressive victory.

Idowu and Uzoho were half-time substitutes, replacing Ola Aina and Daniel Akpeyi respectively to make their debuts for the senior national team.

“Brian is a team newcomer, but he’s not the only one. We have three new players, and I would like to highlight our 19-year-old goalkeeper Uzoho. He played well,” Rohr said at the press conference attended by Sport Express Russia.

“Such matches are specially designed so that we can evaluate new players in the team. We have three players who have a special relationship with Russia. There’s also Ahmed Musa and the captain of the team, he has a connection here through the family.

“Brian played well, scored a goal. His prospects depend on how he will perform at the club. His debut, I’m happy.

“On his position we have other options, so who will play better will be in the team.”


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La Liga history maker Uzoho ecstatic with Nigeria call-up – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 09:00

New Nigerian senior international Francis Uzoho has paid tribute to his Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna.

This is after the teenage goalkeeper earned his maiden call-up to the Super Eagles squad.

The 19-year-old has been named in the 24-man squad to take on Algeria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and then a friendly against Argentina this month.

“It probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been promoted to the first team at Deportivo,” Uzoho told BBC Sport.

“They’ve really helped me and hopefully I can repay the faith,” the Nwangele-born shot-stopper added.

Uzoho’s national call-up comes off the back of a strong start to his Deportivo career in the Spanish La Liga.

The former Nigerian Under-17 international became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga last month.

“I feel I owe the former manager [Pepe Mel] a lot as well and I am grateful to the players and management of the second team and senior side and I thank God for his favours,” he added.

Uzoho made his first team – and La Liga – debut on 15 October 2017, starting in a 0–0 away draw against SD Eibar.

According to Wikipedia, at the age of 18 years and 352 days, Uzoho became the youngest ever foreign goalkeeper to debut in La Liga.

He is also the second-youngest player to appear in the league during the campaign, only behind Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi.


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Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho delights in Spanish La Liga debut – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 17:30

Following his debut for Spanish giants Deportivo La Coruna, ex-Nigerian U17 goalkeeper Francis Uzohois delighted after his debut.

Uzoho played for his club and kept a clean sheet in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Eibar as he produced four crucial saves to help Deportivo claim a point.

The 18-year-old arrived at the club from Qatar’s Aspire Academy in January and said the day will not fade from his memory.

“A day that will never disappear from my memory – my debut – thanks all for the support,” he said on Twitter.

Uzoho is the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga and at 18 years, 11 months and 17 days, he becomes the second youngest player in La Liga this season.

He is behind Real Madrid’s Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi who made his debut at 18 years, 10 months and 27 days earlier this month.

Uzoho follows in the footsteps of Wilfred Agbonavbare and Peter Rufai as Nigerian goalkeepers to have played in the Spanish top flight.

After regular first-choice goalkeeper Ruben had suffered a finger injury, Deportivo boss Pepe Mel opted for the Nigerian ahead of the experienced Costel Pantilimon and was impressed by the youngster.

“A coach has to act according to the things he sees in training,” Mel said.

“He is only 18 and he can barely speak Spanish but I know what he can offer this club.”


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