Chippa United goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi will start in the post for Nigeria when they face South Africa in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, Footballlive.ng can reveal.
Super Eagles coach he will choose in-form Akpeyi ahead of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Theophilus Afelokhai for the decisive clash.
Nigeria were dealt a blow when number one shot-stopper Francis Uzoho, 20, was ruled out of the game against Bafana due to injury and was replaced by Enyimba’s Afelokhai, who performed well for his club during their run to the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals.
Uzoho was ruled out for four weeks after his Spanish La Liga side Elche lost 5-1 to Cadiz on November 5.
Football fans have been arguing for Afelokhai to start in the match against the tough South Africa side.
Akpeyi, who was part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad, has been waiting for an opportunity to play and could get it in familiar territory. He knows the conditions in South Africa and Nigeria coach Rohr could give the shot-stopper an opportunity to prove himself on Saturday.
“The goalkeeper for the Nigerian team against South Africa will be Daniel Akpeyi,” a top source at the Super Eagles’ camp told Footballlive.ng.
“It’s not just because of his participation in Chippa United’s matches, but his brilliance in the game against Kaizer Chiefs in which he kept a clean sheet.
Nigeria’s last competitive game against South Africa saw them bow 2-0 to Bafana Bafana at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in 2016.
The Super Eagles are eyeing their first Africa Cup of Nations appearance since 2013.