*Uzoho, Nwakali, Onyekuru listed for the Algeria, Argentina matches
In his determination to get quality replacement for ailing Carl Ikeme, Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho, who plays for Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish LaLiga for the World Cup qualifier against Algeria and the international friendly match against Argentina.
Uzoho who made his La Liga debut two weeks ago against Eibar where he kept a clean sheet was also in goal in his club’s 2-1 loss to Girona who featured fellow Nigerian, Olanrewaju Kayode.
The gangling lad was a member of Nigeria’s Eaglets squad that won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2013. Uzoho joined Deportivo La Coruna from Aspire Academy at the start of the season.
Also invited to the 23-man squad is another former Golden Eaglet, Chidiebere Nwakali and RSC Anderlecht striker Henry Onyekuru.
The on-loan Everton striker, who has been in sparkling form for Anderlecht this season, gets his reward for shaking off his early season struggle which saw him fail to score in his opening five league game of the season.
Onyekuru was last invited for the Super Eagles’ clash against South Africa in Uyo which the Nigeria lost 2-0 to the Bafana Bafana. The striker has scored six league goals in Belgium which puts him fourth spot on the goals-scorers chart.
Other regulars invited for the dead rubber clash with Algeria and the International friendly with Argentina include; Captain John Mikel Obi, forward Ahmed Musa and midfielder Ogenyi Onazi. Injured Victor Moses was left out to allow him continue his treatment while conspicuously missing is left back, Elderson Echiejile.
Goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi also made the cut, as well as defenders Abdullahi Shehu, Leon Balogun and William Ekong, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo and forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo.
2013 AFCON winner Kenneth Omeruo has also been recalled to the team but is on standby for both matches, alongside former junior international Alhassan Ibrahim, who now plays in Austria. Russia-based Brian Idowu is also on standby for the Argentina game only.
According to the statement issued by the NFF yesterday, all invited players are expected to arrive in a camp in Morocco on Monday, 6th November, before the delegation flies to Constantine on Thursday, 9th November.
On Saturday, 11th November, a 45–seater chartered aircraft will fly the Super Eagles from Constantine to Krasnodar, the Russian city that will host the international friendly against Argentina on Tuesday, 14th November.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain)
Defenders: William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidiebere Nwakali (Sogndal FC, Norway)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Chang Chun-Yatai, China); Henry Onyekuru (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium); Anthony Nwakaeme (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
STANDBY: Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Alhassan Ibrahim (FK Austria Wien, Austria); Brian Idowu (FC Amkar Perm, Russia)