Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, on Thursday called to camp 24players who will fight for shirts in the 2014 African Nations Championship final qualifying leg against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, in Abidjan on July 27. All the players are expected to report in Abuja on Monday, 15th July. Only 20 players will make the trip to Cote d’Ivoire’s industrial and economic capital on July 24.
Keshi has invited four new players, including one defender, one midfielder and two strikers, in line with a pledge to inject a few new faces following last Saturday’s opening leg win at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
Kwara United’s former junior international defender Ganiyu Ogungbe, Kano Pillars’ midfielder Rabiu Mohammed, junior international striker Abdullahi Gero of Enugu Rangers and Osadinye Joseph of Warri Wolvesare the new birds at hand.
Ace playmaker Sunday Mba, who scored two goals and made two others inthe commanding 4-1 win, tops the list that also includes goalkeeperand skipper Chigozie Agbim, defenders Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Chibuzor Okonkwo, as well as midfielders Olufemi Oladapo and Ayo Saka, and forwards Muhammad Gambo, Ifeanyi Edeh and Dele Olorundare.
Having never previously qualified for the African Nations Championship– the flagship tournament for players plying their trade in theircountry’s domestic League in the continent – Nigeria has a firm leg in next year’s finals in South Africa, and Coach Keshi has promised there would be no room for the Ivorians to attempt a spectacular come-back in the return leg at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny.
THE FULL LISTGOALKEEPERS:
Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland FC)
DEFENDERS: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves FC); Godfrey Oboabona(Sunshine Stars FC); Ganiyu Ogungbe (Kwara United FC); Kwambe Solomon(Sunshine Stars FC); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers FC); KunleOdunlami (Sunshine Stars FC); Benjamin Francis (Heartland FC); EzekielBassey (Lobi Stars FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers FC); Rabiu Mohammed (KanoPillars FC); Olufemi Oladapo (Shooting Stars FC); Ayo Saka (EnyimbaFC); Mohammed Jiya (Bayelsa United FC)
STRIKERS: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Gomo Onduku (Bayelsa UnitedFC); Ifeanyi Edeh (Enyimba FC); Ezekiel Mbah (Akwa United FC); Abdullahi Gero (Enugu Rangers FC); Osadinye Joseph (Warri Wolves FC); Haruna Babalo (El-Kanemi Warriors FC); Etebo Oghene (Warri Wolves FC); Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars FC).
– Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers)
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