Thank you for discovering Nwabali - Nigerians celebrate Peseiro’s only great achievement

Jose Peseiro gave Nwabali his first start at 2023 AFCON |Photo Credit: Imago

Thank you for discovering Nwabali - Nigerians celebrate Peseiro’s only great achievement

Asukwo Oduo 12:09 - 02.03.2024

Stanley Nwabali owes Jose Peseiro for giving him an opportunity to prove his worth for the Super Eagles

Fans of the Super Eagles of Nigeria have reacted to news of coach Jose Peseiro’s quitting as national team manager.

The Portuguese tactician was appointed in May 2022, after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. However, some 22 months later, Peseiro decided to say his goodbyes to Nigeria.

In his 22 matches in charge, the Super Eagles won 11, drew four and lost seven. After the departure of the Portuguese, ex-international Austin Eguavoen has been named caretaker coach.

Jose Peseiro came within 45 minutes of winning the 2023 AFCON for Nigeria, but his ultra-defensive approach and poor game management throughout the tournament backfired, with the Super Eagles losing 1-2 to host Ivory Coast.

However, no one can deny that Jose Peseiro helped solve a pressing need in the goalkeeping department, by unearthing Stanley Nwabali.

Jose Peseiro gives Stanley Nwabali a chance to shine

Going into the 2023 AFCON, the number one problem that plagued the Super Eagles, despite the flurry of options in attack, was the goalkeeping debate, with then-first choice Francis Uzoho proving unreliable.

Earlier on, during the international friendlies leading to Africa’s biggest football tournament, Peseiro had stuck with Uzoho as his number one choice in goal - leaving many Nigerians frustrated.

However, a few days before the competition proper, Peseiro had found his man, 27-year-old Stanley Nwabali playing in South Africa with Chippa United.

Nwabali repays Peseiro’s faith 

Stanley Nwabali got his baptism of fire during Nigeria’s first game at AFCON against Equatorial Guinea, where he conceded one goal. Nwabali would go on to keep three clean sheets and not concede again until a 90th minute penalty in the semi-finals against South Africa. 

Furthermore, Nwabali also showed his ability to save penalties, saving three against the Bafana Bafana to book Nigeria a place in the finals.

Bar a fumble by the Super Eagles defence in the final, Nwabali would have picked up the goalkeeper of the tournament award which he lost to South Africa’s Ronwen Williams on the final day.   

Reactions - Nigerians say farewell to Peseiro

Fans and followers of the Super Eagles have reacted to news of Peseiro’s departure from his post as Nigeria’s head coach.

Reacting to a post on Pulse Sports Nigeria's Facebook page, some called him an average manager berating his defensive setup, while others hailed him for his role in discovering Nwabali.