Despite fans’ rejection, Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr has listed Odion Ighalo, Samuel Chukwueze, Wilfred Ndidi and 21 others for their remaining two matches of Group C of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde this month.
In-form FC Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi was omitted from the list that was made public by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Awoniyi, who has scored seven goals in nine appearances for Union Berlin in the Bundesliga this season was obviously dropped to make way for Ighalo in the 24-man list to prosecute the Liberia and Cape Verde ties.
Recall that 32-years old Ighalo had announced his retirement immediately after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where he won the highest goal scorer with five goals.
Meanwhile, Villarreal FC of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze made a return to the three times African champions squad after six months of absence following an injury.
England based duo of Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi also returned to the squad after missed the last round of games home-and-away against Central African Republic.
Rohr also listed team captain Ahmed Musa, deputy captain William Ekong, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Leon Balogun, forwards Moses Simon and Victor Osumhen for the games.
The Super Eagles tackle the Lone Star of Liberia at the Grand Stade Tangier in Morocco on Saturday, November 13 before fly into Lagos for the final group game against Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday, November 16.
Top of their pool with nine points but hotly chased by seven-pointer Cape Verde who host Central African Republic on the island of Mindelo, the Eagles need the three points against the Lone Star on the neutral turf of Morocco’s principal northern city to remain on firm ground when hosting the Blue Sharks three days later in Nigeria’s commercial and industrial capital.
The invited players and overseas-based members of the technical crew are to report directly to the city of Tangier on Monday, November 8, 2021
while technical officials from Nigeria are to report in Tangier the same day.EAGLES FOR LONE STAR & BLUE SHARKS
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Defenders: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Galsgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Shabab Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)