Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali earned the praises of Nigerians again at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast after helping Nigeria reach the final of the tournament on Wednesday, for the first time since 2013.
Nwabali saved two penalties during the shootout on a long night at the Stade de la Paix in Bouke, as Nigeria beat South Africa 4-2 on penalties to power their hopes of winning a fourth AFCON title after successes in 1980, 1994 and 2013.
Although he was beaten from the spot by Teboho Mokoena during regulation time, the 27-year-old put up a commanding performance with spectacular saves during the game, which earned him the Man of The Match award as well.
Captain William Troost-Ekong also gave Nigeria the lead from the spot in the 67th minute after Victor Osimhen was fouled in the South African box by Mothobi Mvala.
In the shootout, he stopped Mokoena and Evidence Makpoga’s kicks as Terem Moffi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ekong and Kelechi Nwakali all scored for Nigeria.
“Well deserved. He caught those penalties like a king. We are lucky to have him. We are definitely winning the trophy,” a fan named Makarios wrote under the Super Eagles post celebrating the keeper.
Others like Chimezie Francis also thanked him for saving the day
“Nwabali got us salvation, great day for us Nigerians,” he said.
“Well-deserved. Super Eagles No. 1 goalkeeper is now secured for Stanley Nwabali,” Ayo added.
Another fan, Sunday Johnson said, “Well deserved. Looking forward to his golden glove coming.”
With his South African rival, Rowen Williams settling for a third-place playoff, Nwabali is on his way to becoming the tournament’s best shot stopper having kept four clean sheets and numerous saves so far in the tournament.
The post Plaudits for Nwabali after shootout heroics first appeared on Nigeria Newspapers Online.