Photo: Soccer Football – World Cup – Group D – Croatia vs Nigeria – Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia – June 16, 2018, Nigeria’s Francis Uzoho reacts REUTERS/Murad Sezer

  • Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho is facing an extended lay-off after rupturing ligaments in his knee, BBC Sport reports.
  • Uzoho, 20, suffered the injury after the hour mark during Sunday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil in Singapore and had to be carried off on a stretcher.

“Francis Uzoho has been diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and external meniscus,” said his Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia in a statement.

Despite being ruled out for an unspecified period, Uzoho, who is currently the first choice for both club and country, believes he will ‘come back stronger’.

“Thank you all for the kindness. Trust me you all will see a stronger and the best Uzoho Francis when I’m back in a very short time,” he wrote on social media.

In search of regular football, Uzoho returned for a second loan spell in Cyprus by joining Omonia Nicosia in July from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.

A lack of top-flight football had cost him his place as Nigeria’s number one keeper ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, going into the tournament as third choice behind Daniel Akpeyi and Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

Capped 16 times by Nigeria, he played all three matches as the Super Eagles were knocked out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage and made a solitary appearance at this summer’s Nations Cup against Tunisia as the Super Eagles sealed a third-place finish in Egypt.

He has since regained his starting place and been picked for both of Nigeria’s most recent friendly internationals against Ukraine and Brazil.

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