It is interesting enough to know that table-toppers Kaizer Chief now boast of second-best defensive record in the Absa Premier League this season.
This huge success by the club’s rearguards has been attributed to Akpeyi sterling form, which to a large extent ensure the club retain its top spot on the log with 48 points from 22 matches.
The Nigeria international has proved by far to be the most worthy, virtual error-free in the first half of the season and frequently saving his rear with much gusto and panache.
Criticised at the last AFCON over his failure to tactically arrange his wall during set-pieces against eventual winners, Algeria in the semi-finals, his sudden rise to becoming the top candidate for Absa Golden Gloves award speaks volumes how well he has mastered his craft after his elementary errors in Egypt.
Re-known for his melancholic traits between the sticks, Akpeyi has become more authoritative when barking out orders between the sticks. More importantly, he deserves lots of accolades for his mastery of the local Zulu language.
Although the Amakhosi’s safest hand cannot be completely absolved of blames since joining the club in January last year, he has since set the tone for other upcoming goalkeeper and his performance explain why he is currently in Nigeria’s no.1.
Although club faithful raised eyebrows when homeboy Itumeleng Khune dropped to second in the pecking order of goalkeeper behind Akpeyi, the club fans soon embraced the Nigerian for his guts as long as the club keeps winning.
The Nigerian currently boasts of an impressive 47.4 per cent clean sheet ratio, having kept his side from conceding in nine of his 17 appearances this season. This explains why the coveted gong which is awarded to the player that has kept the cleanest sheets will likely go to the Nigerian.
It’s all good news for Super Eagles gaffer, Gernot Rohr who has continued to demand more from his goalkeeper as Nigeria continues its quest to build a crack side that will rule the continent in 2022.