—Drops Seven Players
Nigeria U-23s coach Samson Siasia has included eight Flying Eagles players in his squad for the African U-23 Championship/Olympic qualifier against Congo in July.
He has also dropped seven of the players in the team’s camp after Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, the Nigeria Football Federation said in a press release on Sunday.
The Flying Eagles players called up include Taiwo Awoniyi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Yahaya and Kingsley Sokari. Others are Dele Alampasu, Moses Simon, Musa Muhammed and Saviour Godwin. All eight players were in New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, where the team underachieved.
Siasia explains that he dropped the other seven players because of their performance against Wikki.
“I have given all these players enough time to showcase what they can bring on the table, but I am so disappointed that till this minute they still have not been able to convince me, so they have to give way for others to come and show me and my technical crew what they can offer,” the former Super Eagles star and coach said. “I thank them for their contribution to the success of the team in the past, but we have to move on, if they show signs of improvement in their clubs they can be recalled back to the team.”
The dropped players are Sani Faisal, Lukmon Gilmore, Emmanuel Ammana, Tonbara Tiongoli, Freedom Omofonma, Uche Okeke and Gabriel Sunday.
Siasia asked Mohammed, Awoniyi, Sokari, Godwin and Alampasu to report to camp on Monday as the one-week break he granted them to rest with their families is over.
However, overseas-based Yahaya, Iheanacho and Simon will report two weeks to the first leg scheduled for Abuja.
Siasia has also invited Sharks FC defender Chima Akas and Warri Wolves defender Semiu Laidi to report to camp immediately.
On Saturday, the Dream Team were forced to a 3-3 draw by home side Wikki Tourists in a game played at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi and watched by a mammoth crowd including the Governor Mohammed Abubakar and the immediate past president of the NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari.
The Dream Team raced to a 2-0 lead through Sunday Oladapo and Junior Ajayi before Wikki clawed their way back into the game with a brace from Alaba Johnson in the 28th and 37th minute.
Just when the fans were thinking the first half would end that way, Daniel Etor who impressed in the attack scored the third goal in the 43rd minute with a thunderbolt of a shot to end the first half 3-2 in favour of the Dream Team.
On resumption of the second half, it was Wikki Tourists who took the initiative very early and got the equalizer in the 48th minute through Hamza Abba.