Ezenwa, Four Other Home-based Eagles for Liberia Friendly
CAF Confederation Cup quarter finalists Enyimba FC’s captain, Mfon Udoh and four other home-based professionals have been included in the list of 18 Super Eagles who will play the Lone Star of Liberia in an international friendly in Monrovia on Tuesday.
Coach Gernot Rohr has also listed goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa (also with Enyimba FC), defenders Adeleye Olamilekan of FC IfeanyiUbah and Ebube Duru of Lobi Stars, as well as Enyimba FC forward Sunday Adetunji.
Apart from goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa who travelled with the team to Seychelles for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Pirates, all the other home-based professionals have been directed to report at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos latest by 3pm today.
Ezenwa and the 13 other players would fly into Lagos from Addis Ababa on this afternoon before the contingent is flown to Monrovia this night aboard an ARIK Air plane.
The match is in celebration of Liberian President, former World Footballer of the Year George Oppong Weah, and is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the 35,000 –capacity Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, Spartak Moscow midfielder, Sylvanus Nimely is one of the players Liberia will rely on to wreak havoc on Nigeria when both teams clash in an international friendly.
Nigeria has met Liberia on 13 occasions in the past, with the Super Eagles winning eight games, drawing two and losing three times.
Nigeria and Liberia last clashed on August 19, 2012, during qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, which the Super Eagles went on to win.
Dramatically, a friendly between both nations preceded that match, in February 2012, as Nigeria defeated Liberia 2-0 at Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.
For that game, both teams featured players from their home leagues, and Sunday Mba got both goals that saw the Eagles outshine the Lone Star in front of their then president, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to commemorate her swearing in for a second term in office.
Mba’s first goal was in the ninth minute, from a Reuben Gabriel pass, to silence the 18,000-seater stadium, before the second on 30 minutes from an assist by Ejike Uzoenyi.
In July 200, the Liberians beat the Eagles 2-1 before a sparse crowd that had turned out at Monrovia’s Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.
Many Liberians had thought their national side would crumble against the like of Nwankwo Kanu, Sunday Oliseh and Austin Okocha, but the Lone Star started like a house on fire and hit the back of the visitors’ net as early as the 4th minute.
In the latest FIFA Ranking, Liberia are ranked 158th in the world while Nigeria is 48th.
EAGLES FOR LIBERIA
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Adeleye Olamilekan (FC IfeanyiUbah); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Ebube Duru (Lobi Stars)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto, Portugal); Joel Obi (AC Chievo Verona, Italy)
Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone FC, Italy); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba FC); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC)