Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was the name on everybody’s lips during the CAF Champions League semi final second leg against Wydad Casablanca on Saturday.
The former Heartland man was in fine form keeping out a free-flowing away side who had 9 shots during the game.
Akpeyi was forced to make seven saves during the game which he did spectacularly as it ended 0-0 at Soccer City Stadium. Chiefs qualified for the final 1-0 on aggregate.
It will be recalled that Wydad Casablanca had 18 attempts in the entertaining game and were frustrated by the experienced goalkeeper.
Bafana Bafana star, Itumeleng Khume who was Akpeyi’s reserve showed support by hugging his teammate after the game.
The ex Warri Wolves star has not conceded a single goal in the CAF Champions League this season, a streak lasting 446 minutes.
Daniel Akpeyi last manned the post for Nigeria in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Lesotho in Maseru. Since then, he hasn’t gotten the chance to showcase his talent for the Super Eagles.
Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has struggled to have a quality back up for Maduka Okoye, with Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and John Noble not trusted by the Franco-German tactician.
Of course, saves aren’t everything in football but Akpeyi is still an incredibly talented footballer and it is good to see him perform at the CAF Champions League.
The FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is around the corner and the best materials should be entrusted with sensitive positions.
With a lack of other options, Gernot Rohr will be watching Daniel Akpeyi’s performances very closely indeed.