EREDIVISIE

Maduka Okoye helpless as Sparta Rotterdam fall to league-leaders Ajax

Maduka Okoye conceded more than one goal in a match for the first time in almost a month

Maduka Okoye (Instagram/Maduka Okoye)

Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was unable to keep league leaders Ajax Amsterdam at bay as Sparta Rotterdam fell to a 2-1 defeat at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday night.

Okoye conceded two second-half goals to Davy Klaassen (49') and Dusan Tadic (62') as Ajax pelted the Rotterdam goal post with shot after shot following Joeri de Kamps handing the visitors a shock lead in the 33rd minute.

Rotterdam gave a good account of themselves on Saturday despite battling relegation, with Okoye pulling off some important saves to limit the scoreline.

Despite finishing on the losing side, Okoye put in another solid performance for the Henk Fraser-led team, clocking four (4) saves throughout the match with one of those saves within the penalty box.

The 22-year-old conceded more than one goal in a match for the first time since February 27, a 2-1 home defeat to PSV Eindhoven.

Since then, Okoye had led Sparta Rotterdam on a three-match unbeaten run in the league, a streak that puts them just one point from leaving the relegation places, also having played one game less than every other side (with Vitesse Arnhem).

Sparta could leave the relegation zone for the first time in a while if they defeat Fortuna Sittard in their next Eredivisie game on Saturday, April 16 in a potential six-pointer game.

Following the match against Sittard is a run of three games against the Top 8 sides in the league namely FC Twente (A), AZ Alkmaar (H), and FC Groningen (A).

Recently, former Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama noted that Okoye cannot be another 'Enyeama' but he can improve if Nigerians motivate and trust in him.

Okoye would keep trying to help Rotterdam beat the drop before he moves to another relegation-threatened side in the English Premier League, Watford at the end of the summer.

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