INCREDIBLE GOALKEEPING: Nobody Can Score Penalty Kick Against Arugo Monkey

The title above sounds like an exaggeration - right? I thought so myself when I heard Emeka Nwanna, former Enugu Rangers striker, declare it at the Teslim Balogun stadium Lagos, during the Federation cup semi finals between Heartland FC of Owerri Vs Prime Stars FC of Oshogbo.

The match was goalless and few minutes to full time, when Chijoke Ejiogu was brought-in to replace Heartland's first choice goal keeper, Daniel Akpeyi. And immediately Nwanna saw him, he exclaimed, "It's over! Heartland has won!" We were all surprise with the way he exclaimed, like he was so sure. "'Nobody can score the Arugo Monkey when it comes to penalty shoot out. That's why the coach brought him in at this time." Well, I didn't take him serious. He can't be serious because we all know anyone can score any goal keeper when it comes to penalty kick. So I took it as one of those gist you hear at the popular side.

One thing I didn't put into consideration was Emeka Nwanna has played in Nigeria Premier League for over a decade now,and he should know what he was talking about.  He may have played against Ejiogu a thousand times and he knew that it was easier for a Camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than to score a penalty kick against the Arugo monkey.

 We were so astonished when the penalty shoot out began, and the Arugo monkey was just diving from post to post, palling away every one shot from the Oshogbo boys. We couldn't believe our eyes - it was such an incredible performance.

I've seen goal keepers that has such reputations in the past, Dosun Joseph of Julius Berger, Dele Ayienugba, then playing for Eynimba of Aba; but none of these goalkeepers has such dexterity and reflexes to go for each ball like Chijoke Ejiogu.

Ejiogu first came to limelight in 1998 with  Arugo FC, a grassroots club in Owerri that had a kind of Cinderella run on the Challenge Cup, beating most Premiership clubs, including Iwuanyawu Nationale FC. And Ejiogu was always the hero of most games. That's how he got the nickname - Arugo Monkey.

Arugo monkey made history on Sunday August 26, 2012, when he became the first player in Nigeria to have won the Federation cup six times. Ejiogu who came into the finals barely three minutes to full time, lifted the cup again with Heartland (Heartland won it back to back).

Ejiogu first won the then Coca cola FA cup with Julius Berger FC in 2002; then he lifted the trophy again with Dolphins FC in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He first made history when he won the newly introduced federation cup with Eynimba FC in 2009. And now in 2012, he has won it again. This time for his own state club - Heartland of Owerri, Imo State.

Chijioke Ejiogu
Name: Chijioke Ejiogu
Nickname: Arugo Monkey
Nationality: Nigerian football goalkeeper,
Born: November 22, 1984 
Age: age 27 
State of Origin: Owerri Imo State
Height: 1.80 m
Position: Goalkeeper
Present Club: Heartland of Owerri 2012

Previous Clubs: Eynimba Of Aba 2009 -2011
                         Dolphin of PH 2004 – 2008
                         Arugo Of Owerri 1998 - 2002

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