Kanu didn’t want to take penalty at 2000 AFCON final – Egbo

Published January 11, 2021

Johnny Edward

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper , Ndubuisi Egbo , has revealed that Nwankwo Kanu never wanted to take a penalty in the final of the African Cup of Nations in 2000 , The PUNCH reports .
The Eagles lost 4 -3 on penalties to Cameroon after full and extra time ended 2 -2 .
During the shootout, Kanu ’s penalty , Nigeria ’s third , was saved by Boukar Alioum , the Cameroon goalkeeper.
Speaking on his time with the Eagles in an interview with PUNCH Online TV sports programme , Kick and Follow , the former KF Tirana manager said the Eagles were exhausted before the shootout against the Cameroonians .
Nigeria recovered from two goals down to force the game into extra -time . Samuel Eto ’o scored in the 27 th minute , before Patrick Mboma’ s shot squirmed past Ike Shorunmu ’s legs for Cameroon ’s second goal in the final .
But just before half- time , Chukwu Ndukwe reduced the deficit with a cool finish from close range , before Austin Okocha restored parity with a stunning 25 -yard volley to make it 2 -2 within 90 seconds of the restart .
“ I have the memory of what happened in the final against Cameroon like a video in my head . I remember Victor Ikpeba scored the penalty but put his hands on his head and the referee ( Mourad Daami ) counted it that it was a lost goal, ” Egbo said .
“ But before then, when we were in the camp during training sessions , I always saved Kanu ’s penalties and when it was time to play penalties and ( coach ) Jo Bonefere was writing the names of penalty takers , Kanu said he was not going to play, but the coach said he was one of the best and he had to play.
“ He ( Kanu ) came to me and said I know that I always saved his penalties. I tried to motivate him and told him to try and kick the ball very hard to the side . ‘ Just remove the thought that you lose penalties during training sessions . ’ This is because it may affect his psychology and that he may lose.
“ Also we were not prepared for a penalty shootout because we came from a two -goal down to play 2 -2 and we had exhausted a lot of energy and strength and the psychology was not well balanced for s penalty shootout ; and in the end we lost . ”
Egbo made Africa proud when he guided Tirana to win the Albanian league in the 2019 / 20 season and also qualified them to the Champions League , becoming the first African coach to achieve the feat in Europe .
The 47 -year – old is currently without a job after he was sacked by Tirana at the start of the season.

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