Just another 90 minutes. It should have been a 90-minute for Ikechukwu Ezenwa to further throw himself into the hearts of his decreasingly waning sceptics and prove to them that he can stand in between the sticks for Nigeria at the world cup, but he was only throwing himself confusedly around the Mohamed Hamlaoui stadium like an orangutan leaping aimlessly after thrown fingers of banana while tangled in tree branches.
After a plausible debut against Cameroon in Uyo, another satisfying performance in Yaoundé and a hard fought clean sheet against Zambia, Ezenwa could have, atleast, sealed his place on the plane to Russia with a fairly good showing in Constantine but he went on and had arguably his worst game of his Super Eagles’ career.
His performance against Algeria was punctuated with lumps of error that even the NPFL apologists, who have often exaggerated his performances, thought it fit joining in the songs for Enyeama’s return to the Super Eagles.
Thrice he leapt into the Constantine night sky to claim a floating cross, twice he landed without even making any contact at all with the ball and on the single occasion when he didn’t miss the ball completely, he nearly helped Aissa Mandi to an undeserved equaliser. Couple of minutes later, Ezenwa launched himself yet again but this time at a grounder from Mandi and for the umpteenth time, missed the ball completely, with the goal gaping Leicester City’s Islam Slimani inexplicably missed from six-yards.
Ezenwa’s appalling showing on Friday has thrown in a handful of questions for Gernot Rohr concerning his goal-tenders. With Carl Ikeme recovering from leukemia, Daniel Akpeyi lacking the needed confidence and composure for this stage of football and teenager Francis Uzoho obviously not experienced enough, nothing can seem enough to fill this void except the return of Lille stalwart, Vincent Enyeama.
Just 90 minutes. Just another 90 minutes but Ezenwa made a puddle of elementary messes that muddled his previous 270 minutes and forced an entire country to go down on her knees for one man, a savior – Vincent Enyeama.