Mistakes are normal in goalkeeping, says Akpeyi
Akpeyi kept a clean sheet in the game against the Burundians, though his performance was unconvincing even though he saved some point blank shots that would have given the Burundians the lead in the first half.
The Eagles later rallied to victory against the inexperienced debutants.
Reacting to criticism from fans, who accused him of being nervous throughout the game, Akpeyi disagreed, saying he was only doing his job as a professional.
“Was I jittery in the game? I don’t think so. I am just doing what a goalkeeper was supposed to do. If I made a mistake, fine, it is my cross and I will carry it. I am just picking up gradually after gaining the Eagles’ number one position,” he said.
The Kaizer Chiefs FC of South Africa star agreed that the Burundians were a tough nut to crack, adding, “Imagine a country doing well at their first appearance in the competition. These guys are good players.
“Some people might make the mistake of dismissing them since they are coming to the tournament for the first time and are not experienced in the tournament. But that would be a big mistake.
“For them to be able to hold us for that long period shows that they are good. They did very well but we were lucky to get away with the three points.”
An Egyptian fan, who is an area manager in one of the companies here, Mohammed Seif, told The Guardian that he was not pleased with Akpeyi’s display against Burundi.
“For me as an Egyptian, I want a final between my country and Nigeria. But your goalkeeper, I don’t respect the Nigerian goalkeeper,” he said, adding that the three times Africa champions have had better goalkeepers in the past.
“This is not a strong goalkeeper as I used to see. Today (Saturday) he was not tested. I believe a stronger country will score many goals with your goalkeeper.
“Also, the Super Eagles, I respect the history of the Nigerian team in African football because they are one of the strongest teams in the AFCON competition. But if they meet Egypt, I don’t know if they can win. I want the best team to win the title but Nigeria is not as strong as the one I know. Nigerians are known for their physical fitness, but this one, no way,” he stated.
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