Nigeria and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, Carl Iheme, suffered a hip injury and has been ruled out of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Algeria. But the team’s substitute goaltender Ikechukwu Ezenwa says he’s equal to the task.
The Super Eagles will tower against their North African opponents on Saturday 12 November for the all-important encounter scheduled in Uyo, Nigeria.
Ezenwa, who plays for FC IfeanyiUbah, is said to be one of the next quality shot stoppers for the crucial game though he has subbed for Iheme in the last two Super Eagles matches against Tanzania and Zambia.
“I have understudied Carl Ikeme and I will give my best for my country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, if I’m opportuned to be in goal.
“I’m not under pressure because it’s something I have been doing for some time now and I am confident I will prove myself again.
“We are looking forward to the game. We will all focus and work hard.
“We want the maximum three points because we all know what is at stake.”
Ezenwa, 28, represented Nigeria during the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup in Canada. He has also played for Heartland and Sunshine Stars.
“There were some interests when we were in Spain recently but by January we will know where I will go to,” the goalkeeper who is currently linked with a move to Spanish second division club Cadiz, said in a report from African Football.
Ikeme sustained the injury in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Championship match against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 29 October.
Image: Alloy Agu
Meanwhile, the country’s former shot stopper Alloy Agu spoke with Complete Sports. He said there’s no cause for alarm as the Super Eagles have quality goalkeepers to step forward for the challenge.
“It’s sad that we won’t have Carl in goal against Algeria but the good thing is that we have capable replacements for him
“Ikechukwu, Dele and Daniel are quality goalkeepers too and any of them can take his place in the game.
“We are lucky to have all these quality goalkeepers at our disposal and I have no doubt anyone picked will do a good job.
“Carl has set a good standard with his impressive performances and he was particularly outstanding against Zambia.
“Whoever is coming in know what is expected of him and will be ready to step up.”