Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi has swiftly turned his attention to the 2014 African Nations Championship qualifying match against Cote d’Ivoire, by calling up 24 home boys for the game billed for the end of next week.
Even as the African champions were rueing several missed chances in the 3-0 defeat to World and European champions Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil, Keshi pencilled down goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Azubuike Egwuekwe, Godfrey Oboabona, Solomon Kwambe and Benjamin Francis, midfielders Emeka Eze and Sunday Mba and forward Muhammad Gambo from the squad that were with him in Brazil, and added 14 more from Nigeria’s top flight and two from the lower division.
Returning are goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, defender Kunle Odunlami and striker Obinna Nwachukwu and Gomo Onduku who were part of the team’s training camp in Germany ahead of the international friendly with Mexico in Texas, USA.
Defender Chibuzor Okonkwo, no stranger to the senior team camp, is joined by familiar faces Umar Zango and Ezekiel Bassey, Ayo Saka and Anthony Okputu.
Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer Dele Olorundare of Sunshine Stars is joined by former junior international midfielder Olufemi Oladapo.
New faces are Mohammed Ajia of Bayelsa United, Enyimba FC’s Ifeanyi Edeh, Pius Samson of Ranch Bees, Festus Ajah of Union Bank FC and Warri Wolves’ Etebo Oghene.
The players are expected to report at the Bolton White Apartments, Abuja on Sunday, 30th June, 2013.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has announced that the match will be played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Saturday, 6th July.
“We are happy for the favourable response from the Kaduna State Government, and we have also approached the National Sports Commission for permission to use the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna for the encounter.
“The grass is excellent and the entire facility is so well-maintained. The Super Eagles will find the place comfortable,” Barrister Musa Amadu, NFF General Secretary who was in Kaduna on Monday, said.
LIST OF INVITED PLAYERS:
Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Warri Wolves); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC)
Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Ezekiel Bassey (Lobi Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers).
Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Ayo Saka (Enyimba FC); Olufemi Oladapo (3SC); Emeka Eze (Enugu Rangers); Mohammed Ajia (Bayelsa United)
Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Obinna Nwachukwu (Heartland FC); Gomo Onduku (Bayelsa United); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Anthony Okputu (Lobi Stars); Pius Samson (Ranch Bees); Festus Ajah (Union Bank); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves); Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars).
-Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers)
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