—Oparanozie, Dede, Okobi in Falcons squad
Nigeria U-23s coach Samson Siasia has selected Flying Eagles stars Taiwo Awoniyi, Kingsley Sokari and Godwin Saviour among the 20 players for the team’s crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe Noire on Sunday, the Nigeria Football Federation announced on Thursday.
Addressing the players after their last practice match played at the FIFA/NFF Goal Project in Abuja on Wednesday, which the team won 3-0, Siasia said all the players are good enough to make the trip, but it is impossible for everyone to be in Congo for the battle.
Charging those left out to continue to work on their game and pray for the success of the team in the big match, Siasia assured that the focus of the team is to go to Congo and do the nation proud.
“For those of you selected, this is a golden opportunity for you to show to Nigerians and the world that your first leg victory was not a flash in the pan, and as such you must fight hard when we get to Pointe Noire and beat the Congolese,” he told the NFF website.
The selected players are:
Daniel Emmanuel, Atanda Sodiq, Stanley Amuzie, Azubuike Okechukwu, Olusegun Oduduwa, Erhun Obanor, Godwin Saviour, Etebo Oghenekaro, Junior Ajayi, Usman Mohammed, Etor Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed, Chima Akas, Semiu Liadi, Shehu Abdullahi, Kingsley Sokari, Taiwo Awoniyi, Umar Aminu, Austin Oladapo and Sincere Seth.
In the practice match, Dream Team paraded the likes of Kingsley Sokari, Umar Aminu, Shehu Abdullahi, Taiwo Awoniyi, Junior Ajayi, Etebo Oghenekaro and Azubuike Okechukwu and scored all three goals in the second half through Shehu Abdullahi, Usman Mohammed and Umar Aminu.
Also, Super Falcons coach, Chris Danjuma, has picked 18 players for the big match against Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Sunday. The players who travelled out of Abuja on Thursday morning alongside other officials are: Tochukwu Oluehi, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Blessing Edoho, Osarenoma Igbinovia, Joy Jegede, Osinachi Ohale, Martina Ohadugha, Desire Oparanozie, Cecilia Nku, Sarah Nnodim, Ngozi Ebere, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Ngozi Okobi, Chioma Wogu, Mercy Amanze, Precious Dede, Gladys Akpa and Chinaza Uchendu.