Posted by News Express | 27 September 2014 | 3,296 times
Despite repeated advice by some Nigerian coaches that the Super Eagles need the services of Spain-based Ikechukwu Uche and others like Haruna Lukeman for the must-win 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sudan, Head Coach Stephen Keshi Friday named his 23-man squad without giving them a chance.
In fact, Keshi surprised many soccer-loving Nigerians by extending invitation to a hatful of new faces, including former junior international, Raheem Lawal, China-based Aaron Samuel, as well as relatively unknown England-based and Hope Akpan Anyora Ugonna, who plays in Norway.
The decision by Keshi to ignore star players like Ike Uche, Lukman and Kelechi Iheanacho for the battle of Sudan is not going down well with some Nigerians, who voiced their anger on a radio sports programmes in Lagos yesterday.
Both teams clash at in Khartoum on Saturday, October 11, before trading tackles at the National Stadium, Abuja, four days later. Nigeria is treading dangerously behind Congo Brazzaville and South Africa in the group.
Others listed by Keshi are goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, Babatunde Michael, who is back from injury, Reading of England’s Hope Akpan and Austria-based forward Sunday Emmanuel.
The Super Eagles, who are African champions, must win both matches against pointless Sudan to have any realistic chance of reaching the finals in Morocco early next year.
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (HapoelBe’erSheva, Israel), ChigozieAgbim (Gombe United).
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, England).
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi FC, Israel); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); Raheem Lawal (Eskisehirspor FC, Turkey); Anyora Ugonna (Haugesund FC, Norway).
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbache, Turkey); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Victor Moses (Stoke City, England); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R & F, China); Sunday Emmanuel (SV ScholzGrodig, Austria); Babatunde Michael (Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine).
•Adapted from a Guardian on Saturday report. Photo shows Coach Keshi.
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