Stanley Nwabali, the goalkeeper for the Super Eagles, has disclosed that Francis Uzoho, a teammate, is still the squad’s first-choice stopper for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which is currently taking place in Ivory Coast.

Nwabali also disclosed the words of wisdom from Nigeria’s head coach, Jose Peseiro, prior to the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea.

Despite Uzoho’s lack of international experience, the Chippa United custodian has benched him for the tournament.

He has played in both of Nigeria’s opening AFCON matches, scoring zero against the Ivory Coast hosts.

Nwabali remarked in an interview with Osasu Obayiuwana, a correspondent for The Guardian UK, “To be honest, it has been nice; it has been God throughout, but I am not the first choice,”

“Uzoho is still the first choice, I only had an opportunity to play. I feel I have to do my best when I have an opportunity to play.

“I was not expecting to play the opening game but I am ready even when I got the call-up but I was not sure of a starting place.”

Nwabali added: “He [Peseiro] didn’t talk to me initially. It was a day before our game, after our last training he came to me, ‘Stanley keep it to yourself, you are going to play’. I told him I am always ready and not worried about it.”

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