By Nsikakabasi Akpan
Thomas Partey’s shot surprisingly went past Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to Surprisingly gift Ghana the advantage via the away goal rule to surprisingly rule Nigeria out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar .
The surprise Villain Francis Uzoho was man of the match in the first leg in Ghana on March 25th and was singled out for praise by commentators, analysts and majority of Nigerians who were quick to banish memories of a Maduka Okoye error at the 2021 AFCON . On that day Nigerians composed and sang ,
” FRANCIS UZOHO IS THE MAN
UZOHO IS THE MAN
UZOHO IS THE MAN FOR OUR POSTS 🧤”
(Repeat as you like ).
Nsikakabasi Akpan was surprisingly not on the choir stand for this emergency rendition . Yes, I deliberately refused to sing in the understanding that Francis Uzoho though a good Goalkeeper not match fit a necessary feature for goalkeeping at the highest level. Goalkeepers need confidence and consistency which is why they function better with age .
Let me not mention any name but I’m very sure any NPFL Keeper who is playing consistently well will be in possession of the confidence to grab Thomas Partey’s shot and save Nigeria the pain of losing the world Cup ticket to a not too exceptional black Stars team.
This brings us to the man in the title of this article Vincent Enyeama . Undoubtedly the last Consistent Goalkeeper to man the Super Eagles posts. Leukaemia will get a knock at this point for prematurely ending the career of Carl Ikeme. Maybe, he would have done a good job between the sticks for the Super Eagles.
After the unceremonious retirement of Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama , Nigeria’s Super Eagles have gone through several Unsuccessful goalkeeping surgeries with the latest being the Francis Uzoho ft Maduka Okoye , Maduka Okoye ft Francis Uzoho Drama series.
This article is intentionally structured In a Back and forth manner like the manner Super Eagles goalkeeping situation but unlike the former, we have arrived at the main target which is to celebrate the last man to have delivered consistently as Super Eagles first choice Goalkeeper.
In my article on August 29th 2021 to celebrate his 39th Birthday, I presented in detail the origin, discovery, career and road to retirement of the man I tagged ” ST VINCENT THE GREAT ”
Enjoy the read ..
” ST VINCENT THE GREAT🧤 “
( First Published 29/8/2021)
Inemesit Enyeama was Born on the 34th Sunday in 1982 about 14240 days ago. Christened Vincent upon baptism, Inem began his playing career with Defunct Ibom stars FC in 1999 until 2001 when he joined Enyimba International where alongside the likes of Obinna Nwaneri, Frimpong , David Tyakese etc African football was brought down to Aba .
A brief and not too significant move to defunct Iwanyanwu National followed in 2004 . Having conquered Africa twice, the Nigerian league on three occasions and cemented his spot as Super Eagles First choice Goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama made the move to the Lord’s own country Isreal to Join Bnei Yehuda.
Like an Evangelist, Saint Vincent’s superlative performance at Bnei Yehuda did not only attract interest from bigger clubs but also opened the door for his then Under study at Enyimba International Dele Aiyenugba to move to Bnei Yehuda upon his transfer to Hapoel Tel Aviv.
At this stage of his career, Enyeama was famed for not only his goalkeeping heroics but also a Goalscorer as he became Hapoel Tel Aviv’s penalty taker. Scoring and stopping penalties for fun enroute winning two Isreali cup titles and Isreali Footballer of the Year 2009.
Enyeama starred for French side Lille between 2011-2018 with a one year loan at Maccabi Tel Aviv where he won the Isreali league title in 2012. On his return to France, Vincent will always be remembered for going 1062 minutes (11 consecutive matches) of football without conceding in 2013 the second highest in the French Ligue 1 till date .
At International level, Vincent Enyeama appeared a record setting 101 times for the Super Eagles from 2002 to 2015 , Winner of 1 AFCON title (2013) and three bronze medals in 2004, 2006 and 2010, Enyeama represented Nigeria at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 World cups plus a 2014 FIFA Confederation cup appearance in Brazil as Champions of Africa.
Just like Saint Vincent who he was christened after upon baptism was persecuted for being outspoken, Vincent Enyeama’s vocal nature caused disagreement first with the ego of then Super Eagles manager Sunday Oliseh in 2015 and later with the management at Lille in 2018 resulting in his October 2015 International retirement and August 2018 departure from Lille by mutual consent.
Just like the Saints in the religious circle are remembered for their Noble sacrifices, Vincent Enyeama’s is today remembered in the Nigerian Footballing community for his amazing displays and position as the last Consistent Super Eagles Goalkeeper.