The goals of Enugu Rangers striker, Osagona Ighodaro, have paved way for him to be included in a 23-man Super Eagles list to prosecute next month’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.
Ighodaro is the highest goal scorer in the Nigeria League with 13 goals after 24 games. He is being joined on the roster by other local stars: Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami, who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in Cape Town earlier in the year.
The list released by the Nigeria Football Federation on Tuesday also include ace goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama; defenders, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose; midfielders, Ogenyi Onazi and Mikel Obi; and forwards, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.
France –based, Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a result of injury; Nosa Igiebor, who missed the final cut for Brazil; and Chinedu Obasi, who was not considered for the tournament, are all back for September’s double –header.
Onazi, the midfield powerhouse who suffered a terrible injury in the Round of 16 defeat by France, has now fully recovered, but Michael Babatunde, who was stretchered out against Argentina after a hand injury, has been left out.
Nigeria will play Congo’s Red Devils in Calabar on September 6, before flying to Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on September 10.
The Red Devils were restored to the race after conquerors, Rwanda, were found guilty of using an ineligible player.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers).