Nigeria international goalkeeper Francis Uzoho says he is happy with Omonia Nicosia’s performance in Thursday’s Europa League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford despite seeing his Cyproit side walk out of the stadium empty-handed.
Erik ten Haag’s men were dominant almost throughout, but they could not find a way past the Nigerian shot-stopper until Scott McTominay came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner, as the World Cup keeper made a string of incredible saves to keep from hitting the back of the net.
Uzoho kept out 11 shots by the Red Devils before McTominay broke the hearts of the travelling fans with a close-range finish after some good work from Jadon Sancho.
Asked if he was unhappy about the result, the former Deportivo La Coruña player said, “I’m not disappointed, though, because we had a great game. But we would have preferred to get at least a point. It’s not an easy stadium to play in, with these big players, so I’m happy.
The 23-year-old, a staunch Red Devils fan, also revealed his delight at playing against United, describing his involvement in the match as “a dream come true.”
“It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve dreamed to play here for a long, long time; so when I saw the draw and I figured out that we [Omonia Nicosia] will be playing in Old Trafford, I wanted to play and I prayed to God for an opportunity to play. So, I got it, and I’m happy I played here.”
Uzoho moved to Cyprus in 2019 — first signing for Anorthosis — after playing for a number of lower-division clubs in Spain.
Despite playing for the Nigeria national side regularly, he’s been overlooked by top-flight clubs in Europe’s top leagues.
Former United forward Owen Hargreaves, though, believes last night’s display could earn the big goalkeeper a big move.
“That’s what it feels like when you have the game of your life. Even when they’ve lost he’s smiling. He was amazing,’ Hargreaves, who was analysing the match for BT Sport, said at full time.
“To think he’s their second keeper blows you away. He’ll nick a move off the back of that performance, I guarantee you.
“This game will change his career, arguably his life. I think that’s what sport is all about, moments like that.”