…As Burnley stun Liverpool to end unbeaten home record***
President-General of Nigerian Football and other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, on Thursday said he was saddened by the death of Joe Erico, a former national team goalkeeper and assistant coach.
Ladipo highlighted this on Thursday that the late Erico, popularly known as ‘Jogo Bonito Exponent’ was an icon who gave his best to Nigerian football as a player, goalkeeper and trainer.
Erico died on Jan. 20 in Lagos after complaining of stomach ache, at the age of 72.
“It’s sad to hear that Joe Erico is dead; sincerely, the news of his death has left me in a sorrowful mood. He was an icon whose love for Nigeria football cannot be overemphasised.
“He gave his best and active part of his life to football as a player, goalkeeper, trainer and coach both at the local FC and national team.
“Erico was an amiable person, very jovial, friendly, gifted in soccer and passionate about the success of our soccer. The football family, we his friends, his family and the nation will miss him,” Ladipo said.
Ladipo noted that Joe Erico, Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu were the three coaches that took the national team to Mali 2002, and unfortunately have all died.
According to him, the late goalkeeper and trainer introduced a style of play in his days on the pitch, which stood him out, and made significant contributions to football career of known players.
“He did a lot for us, most of our national players in the likes of Sunday Oliseh, Dosu Joseph, Samson Siasia, Emmanuel Amunike, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Mutiu Adepoju and others, who later became professionals, passed through him,” Ladipo said.
He prayed for Erico’s soul to rest in peace and for God to grant his family fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss, while extended his heartfelt condolences to the wife and children.
In another development, Champions Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to lowly Burnley on Thursday, ending their 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League as their title defence continued to fade.
An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest after Juergen Klopp’s side failed to score for the fourth straight league match.
Liverpool have not won for five games in the league and trail leaders Manchester United by six points, in fourth place.
It was Burnley’s first victory at Anfield since a 1-0 victory in September, 1974 and Sean Dyche’s side were rewarded for a superb defensive display.
Divock Origi had struck the bar for Liverpool in the first half, with only Burnley keeper Nick Pope to beat and Roberto Firmino missed a good chance after the break.
But for all their pressure and 73% possession, Liverpool struggled to create real openings with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski outstanding in the centre of Burnley’s defence.
When Liverpool did manage to find space for a shot, Burnley keeper Nick Pope was up to the test, getting down well to keep out efforts from Trent Alexander-Arnold and substitute Mohamed Salah.
But too often Liverpool drifted in poor crosses which were easily dealt with by Burnley’s defence.
The Clarets, who made a poor start to the season, move up to 16th place on 19 points.