Posted by News Express | 29 October 2015 | 3,305 times
Obafemi Martins’s Super Eadgles exile has ended. The man fondly called Oba Goal who currently plies his trade with US side Seattle Sounders was today handed a call-up to the Nigeria side for next month’s double World Cup qualifying matches against Swaziland by coach Sunday Oliseh.
The 31-year-old had been out of the Super Eagles since 2013 when he played in a World Cup qualifier under Stephen Keshi. He had talked about retiring from the national side after being ignored by the former coach who he claimed did not like him.
The Sounders striker has been in impressive form this year scoring 15 goals in Major League Soccer (MLS) so far. He made his Nigeria debut more than a decade ago and has 18 goals in 39 appearances.
Oliseh announced his squad of 23 invitees for the double-header against Swaziland on Thursday afternoon with the inclusion of several young players that include Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Feirense goalkeeper Dele Alampasu and Genk midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.
Manchester City youngster Kelechi Iheanacho is a late inclusion in the squad – his name having been missing from the original list.
Nigeria were shaken up this month by the controversies that led to the untimely retirements of veteran goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and striker Emmanuel Emenike after young CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa was handed the captain’s arm band.
The thought of more senior players ignoring the national team has been stemmed for now as the coach has handed call ups to Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel, Celtic’s Efe Ambrose, Monaco’s Elderson Echiejile and Rizespor’s Godfrey Oboabona.
While overlooking defenders Kenneth Omeruo and William Troost-Ekong, Oliseh called up six players from the Nigeria Porfessional League squad that secured qualification to next year’s African Nations Championship against Burkina Faso.
Sunshine Stars goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Sharks defender Chima Akas and Enyimba forward Ezekiel Bassey are all in the team.
The second round World Cup qualifiers will take place on November 13 and 17 in Lobamba and Port Harcourt respectively.
The players are expected to arrive in the team’s Abuja camp on Monday November 8.
Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Dele Alampasu (Club de Sportivo Feirense, Portugal)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Kalu Orji (Enugu Rangers); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz, Germany); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders, USA)
•Adapted from a Goal.com report. Photo shows Obafemi Martin a.k.a Oba Goal.
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