Onyekuru Replaces Injured Ighalo

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AFCON 2019 QUALIFIER

Super Eagles handlers have extended a late call up to Henry Onyekuru to replace injured striker Odion Ighalo for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa next weekend.

The 29-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s Chinese Super League 2-2 draw between his Changchun Yatai side and Tianjin Quanjian.

Ighalo is the top scorer in AFCON 2019 qualifier with six goals including five in two games against Libya.

Nigeria will face South Africa in a grudge game in Johannesburg on November 17 and host Uganda three days later in an international friendly. Bafana Bafana defeated Eagles in Nigeria’s first match of the qualifiers.

Onyekuru, 21, has scored twice in 12 appearances this season for Turkish club Galatasaray, where he is on loan from English side Everton.

Ighalo’s injury comes as the latest setback to the three-time African champions who have lost Wilfred Ndidi through suspension, and injuries to Ogenyi Onazi and goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

Nigeria is leading Group E with nine points from four matches, a point ahead of second-placed South Africa.

Eagles who failed to qualify for the last two editions of the AFCON will seal qualification to next year’s tournament in Cameroon if they beat South Africa even with the last game against Seychelles in Nigeria to spare.