BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Vincent Enyeama has been showered with praise by the rank and file of Lille for pulling off great saves, including two penalties, during Wednesday’s French Cup quarter-final game against Guingamp.
The Ligue 1 club have the former Nigeria captain to thank for advancing to the semi-finals of the competition as they ran out from Stade of Roudourou 4-2 victorious on penalties, following barren 90 minutes and extra time.
Coach Frédéric Antonetti lavished praise on the former Enyimba shot stopper who dedicated the victory to the 19 players that fought the enduring battle.
“In the first period, Vincent Enyeama kept us in the game. Then we were better back after the break, even if everything was not perfect. After, we know the challenges of a penalty shoot-out. We also know that we have a great goalkeeper. He has yet confirmed this evening,” Antonetti said.
Ibrahim Amadou also had some words of adulation for Enyeama: “The test shots on goal were against us, thanks to Vincent Enyeama. We know there is a huge guard. We have no doubts about his qualities. Today he again confirmed all the good we think of him. As in every game, he made spectacular saves, kept us in the game. If he had not been there, the score would not have been the same at half-time, it is clear. ”
The team’s star midfielder, Benjamin Pavard said: “At halftime, the coach told us to brace up. It was a little better after the break, we had more opportunities. The result was essentially achieved because Vincent Enyeama was great between the posts. He was huge, as always. Frankly, I’ve never seen him at a higher level than this. He was impressive.”
The 33-year-old Enyeama, who called time on his international career last year, had not been so outstanding from the spot, but has apparently grown stronger with age like wine.