Following the return of Maduka Okoye, the debate over who the first-choice goalkeeper for the Super Eagles of Nigeria is will headline previews as the Eagles face Algeria in Oran on September 27, 2022.
Super Eagles Head Coach Jose Paseiro has Uzoho and Okoye in camp for the first time since his appointment in May 2022.
Okoye and Uzoho have both manned the posts but it was Okoye who enjoyed a consistent spot during the last days of Genot Rohr and the interim spell by Austin Eguaveon.
The last time both players were in the Super Eagles team, it was Maduka Okoye who manned the post as Tunisia sent Nigeria packing from the 2021 AFCON.
Okoye was criticized for not doing enough to stop the Tunisian goal which halted Nigeria’s AFCON journey and is returning to the Super Eagles for the first time since then.
In his absence, Francis Uzoho returned to the starting XI for the 2022 World Cup Qualification Playoffs vs Ghana in March.
His mistimed handling of Thomas Partey’s shot in the 2nd leg gave Ghana an away goal following a 1-1 aggregate score and ultimately cost Nigeria a spot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
One mistake apiece to send tongues raging over who will be the dependable choice for the Super Eagles following two disappointing experiences.
But it is goalkeeping, and like other outfield positions, mistakes are inevitable so the two goalkeepers will have more opportunities to win aggrieved fans but who will Jose Paseiro put in goal Vs Algeria?
Will Jose Paseiro stick with Francis Uzoho who has manned the posts in the last four games or will he trust the returning Maduka Okoye?
UZOHO VS OKOYE : CLUB FORM
This season, both goalkeepers have remained on the fringes at their respective clubs.
Uzoho has played only one game to date for Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia this term. Brazilian shot-stopper Fabiano has been referred to the Nigerian.
For Maduka Okoye, his only game of the season yet was in the EFL cup. Watford manager Rob Edwards has preferred Ian Bachmann in goal for the Hornets in the English Championship.
ADEBAYO ADELEYE: THE OTHER OPTION
Hapoel Jerusalem goalkeeper Adebayo Adeleye is the other goalkeeper in the Super Eagles camp in Constantino ahead of the game on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old unlike the other two goalkeepers enjoys consistent game time at his Israeli club but is untested on the international scene a stat Jose Paseiro may decide to change against Algeria.
Just like Uzoho (23), Okoye (23), Adebayo (22) is still very young with years in the bag to earn a chance with the Super Eagles.
WHO WAS IN GOAL WHEN NIGERIA LAST PLAYED ALGERIA
Maduka Okoye was in goal for Nigeria in the 0-1 international friendly game loss to Algeria at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on October 9, 2020.
OTHER PLAYERS IN CAMP
For the first game since the 10-0 thumping of Sao Tome and Principe, Jose Paseiro named a strong 24-man squad to face the Desert Foxes of Algeria.
Injuries to Osimhen, Musa, Onyekuru, and Leon Balogun have since been sorted with replacements named with days to the game vs the 2019 AFCON Champions.
The players are Okoye, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Chinedu Awaziem, Ola Aina, Calvin Bassey, Sanusi, Akpoguma, Ozornwafor, Wilfred Ndidi, Frank Onyeka, Alex Iwobi, Onyedika, Simon, Awoniyi, Ejuke, Dessers, Terem Moffi, Ademola Lookman, Adebayo, Saviour, Kelechi Iheanacho, Francis Uzoho, Duru.