To compound matters, coach Manu Garba did not mince his words in his post-match press conference: "We carved out the better chances in the first half and we should have led at the break. The first 45 minutes reflected what we're capable of. We simply made two mistakes that cost us dearly in the second period, which denied us the three points." There could be little doubt that another slip-up would jeopardise Enaholo's place as the Flying Eagles' No1.
I was desperate to make amends. I challenged myself to do better throughout the rest of the competition.
Joshua Enaholo, Nigeria goalkeeper on his mistake in his side's opener.
As if his saves were not enough, Enaholo also set up his side's second goal. His raking throw travelled almost to the edge of the opposition box before being seized on by Taiwo Awoniyi, who finished clinically in order to double Nigeria's lead in the 54th minute. "Obviously I'm pleased. I thank God and my team-mates for this wonderful win, but I want to do even more than I did today. This isn't enough for me," noted the 18-year-old who, accompanied by defender Abdullahi Mustapha, celebrated the strike he had helped create by borrowing Congolese keeper Muteba Kidiaba's now-iconic routine.
German acid test
After the meeting with the Magyars, Nigeria chief Garba stressed how he had encouraged his incumbent between the sticks to shrug off his earlier howler: "Joshua is a really good goalkeeper. He didn't just show it today against Hungary - his performance was equally flawless against Korea DPR. All players make a mistake [at least] once in their careers. Look at the Brazil keeper: he committed exactly the same error in their game against Hungary. This is a point we sought to impress on all the players, but particularly him. And now Joshua is back to his best, to our great delight."
Asked whether he feels that he has redeemed himself, Enaholo was forthcoming: "To some extent, yes. After the Brazil match, I was in a really bad state. I was desperate to make amends. I challenged myself to do better throughout the rest of the competition. What I did against Korea and Hungary is just the beginning," he vowed a few days ahead of what promises to be an extremely testing encounter against Germany. Not only do the Germans have the joint second-best defence in the competition behind Ukraine, having only conceded once, but they are the runaway leading scorers, with an impressive 16 goals from three games.
"They're a good team, but we'll be ready," Enaholo insisted. This message was echoed by Garba: "If we want to be champions, we have to be ready to take on any team. We have the tools to match them." It would be hard to disagree with that assertion, especially if their determined keeper maintains his recent form.