Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has defended goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, who has come under fire following a 2-1 loss to Mali at CHAN.
Agbim was blamed for the two goals scored by Mali even though he later made several saves to deny the fellow West Africans more goals.
Keshi picked Agbim and defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kunle Odunlami as the only players who did well against Mali at the weekend.
Goalkeeper trainer Ike Shorunmu has also passed a vote of confidence on the Enugu Rangers shot stopper.
“He made several saves if not, we would have conceded five, six goals in that game,” Shorunmo defended. “If you look at the team as a whole, he played well and should not be blamed.” Keshi said he now expects his team to post an improved performance today “The players have now overcome their stage fright, so I think they would come out to play on Wednesday.
We did not play our game on Saturday but I am sure that would be different on Wednesday,” he assured.
In the meantime, Sunshine Stars midfielder Ikenna Hilary, who started against Mali, is now an injury doubt for Wednesday’s Group A match against Mozambique after he limped out of training on Monday night.
The player suffered a muscle strain.
The other injury doubt in the team, Benjamin Francis may now give way to Enyimba ace Bright Esieme if he does not recover in time for the match against Mambas.
Shooting Stars striker Gbolahan Salami is likely to start ahead of Abubakar Ibrahim of Nasarawa United, who flopped against Mali.
Salami was the saving grace of the Eagles against Mali and has now played his way into the first team.
“I believe we can win the game against Mozambique and get out tournament back on track,” the 3SC ace said.
There are also sign that Abdullahi Shehu of Kano Pillars may get the nod to start in the game against Mozambique after he brought some stability to the Eagles midfield in the second half of the game against Mali.
Wednesday’s match will kick off 7pm Nigerian time at the Cape Town Stadium, which hosted matches of the 2010 World Cup.