Friday, March 1, 2024

AFCON 2023: Nwabali Reveals Secret Of Penalty Saves

After a 1-1 stalemate in regulation and extra time, the Super Eagles emerged victorious 4-2 on penalties, thanks to two crucial saves by Nwabali.

Super Eagles goalkeeper and Man-of-the-Match in the semi-final game between Nigeria and South Africa, Stanley Nwabali, has revealed the behind-the-scenes efforts that culminated in his two penalty saves against the Bafana Bafana.

After a 1-1 stalemate in regulation and extra time, the Super Eagles emerged victorious 4-2 on penalties, thanks to two crucial saves by Nwabali.

Speaking to reporters in Bouake after the hard-earned victory over South Africa, Nwabali indicated research and guidance from his coaches aided his penalty saves.

“For me, I give credit to my coaches; when the time for the penalty shoot-out came up, they guided me on what to do and I did my best.”

Asked if he also did his research to know where each player would play their kicks, Nwabali affirmed that was the case.

Man-of-the-match surprise

On his Man-of-the-Match award, Nwabali, who chose to be humble in victory, said he was excited but “surprised” to get the award

“When they gave me the Man-of-the-Match award, I was surprised but I am happy about it.”

Moses Simon (twice) Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman are the other recipients of Man-of-the-Match awards for the Super Eagles team at the ongoing AFCON tournament.

While Nwabali continues to get rave reviews for his shootout and general excellence in goal for Nigeria, the goalkeeper is quick to reject any individual praise as he credited the team as a whole for any success recorded so far.

“It has been a good team performance throughout this tournament. I really appreciate the management and coaches,” said Nwabali.

The Chippa United stopper is already the subject of transfer speculation, with offers reportedly coming from France and Saudi Arabia, among other places, for his services.

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