Uzoho Keeps A Clean Sheet On Full APOEL Debut Victory Over PAEEK

The goalkeeper made his debut for the Legend following a long injury lay-off that was caused on international assignment

Francis Uzoho kept a clean slate on his debut for APOEL in Wednesday’s 4-0 triumph over PAEEK in a Cypriot Cup fixture.

 

The game against the second division outfit saw him return from a long injury layoff that spanned over one year.

 

At the Makareio Stadium, goals from Kostas Apostolakis, Omer Atzili, Morocco’s Anuar Tuhami and Stavros Gavriel powered the 28-time Cypriot Championship winners past Makis Sergides’ men.

Uzoho suffered ruptured ligaments and was carried off on a stretcher after the hour mark during the Super Eagles’ 1-1 international friendly draw with Brazil on October 13, 2019 at the National Stadium, Singapore.

 

Since then, he has been on the sidelines that kept him off Nigerian duty – missing two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers versus Benin Republic and Lesotho plus the recent friendlies with reigning African kings Algeria and Tunisia.

 

After loan spells at Elche, Anorthosis and Omonia, the 22-year-old joined the Cypriot outfit on a three-year deal from Spanish second division club Deportivo La Coruna.

 

The towering shot-stopper commenced his European career at Deportivo after he was scouted while in action for Aspire Academy.

 

He featured prominently for the Blue and Whites’ reserve team yet struggled to break into the first-team although he made two La Liga appearances, against Eibar and Girona, in the 2017-18 campaign.

 

On the international scene, he made his full international debut – replacing Daniel Akpeyi in a 4-2 friendly triumph over Argentina. Subsequently, he benched the South Africa based goalkeeper and Ikechukwu Ezenwa to become Nigeria’s first-choice at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

A lack of regular club football cost him his place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt. His only appearance was against Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in the third-place play-off inside Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium.

 

With his return to full fitness, he must be at his best to displace Maduka Okoye who seems to be Gernot Rohr’s most preferred choice in goal for the three-time African champions.

 

Uzoho would be expected to be in goal when APOEL visit Ethnikos Achna in their next league game on November 7. The Legends are 10th on the log after garnering eight points from seen outings so far.

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