AFCON qualifiers: Rohr names strong squad for South Africa match

Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze is in line to make his international debut after being named in Nigeria’s squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with South Africa.

Chukwueze, 19, is part of a strong 23-man squad, with fellow youngster Victor Osimhen also called up.

Osimhen, who has netted four goals in his last three games for Royal Charleroi, earns his first call-up in over a year, while Mikel Ogu makes a return to the team after being left out of the Russia 2018 World Cup squad.

Expectedly, Wilfred Ndidi is omitted from the team, as he is ineligible due to suspension.

Stand-in captain Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Odion Ighalo and Samuel Kalu are among nine forwards on the list. But substantive captain Mikel Obi, who played all of the 90 minutes of Tianjin Teda’s home loss to Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday, misses out.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah’s Adeleye Olamilekan Aniyikaye and Enyimba goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa are the only home-based players deemed worthy of places in the squad.

Defenders Jamilu Collins, Semi Ajayi, Kenneth Omeruo and Bryan Idowu have retained their spots, but Chidozie Awaziem is omitted.

Recuperating Henry Onyekuru, who made cameo appearances in the games against Libya, is named in the standby list, which also includes FC Porto defender, Chidozie Awaziem; Kano Pillars duo, Junior Lokosa and Nyima Nwagua; as well as Enyimba forward, Sunday Adetunji.

Nigeria lead Group E of the qualifying series with nine points and will battle second-placed South Africa, who trail them by a point, in Johannesburg on Saturday, November 17.

Victory in the encounter will automatically secure the Super Eagles a spot in the finals in Cameroon.

The same group will face Uganda in a friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba three days later.

The Super Eagles will fly from Johannesburg to Asaba on November 18 for the friendly with the Cranes two days later.

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Adeleye Aniyikaye (FC IfeanyiUbah); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); William Troost-Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)

Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal FC, Portugal)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Standby: Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Nyima Nwagua (Kano Pillars FC); Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba FC); Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars FC)


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