Nigeria is set to defend its AFCON U23 title next week when the competition gets underway in Egypt. The Head Coach, Imama Amapakabo has named team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, defenders Anthony Izuchukwu, Sincere Seth and Olisah Ndah, midfielders Kelechi Nwakali, Muyiwa Olabiran and Ndifreke Effiong, and forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Orji Okwonkwo in his final list of 21 players to defend the U23 Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt next month.
Nigeria, champions of the second edition of the competition in Senegal four years ago, will seek to retain their title when the third edition of the championship flags off in Cairo on 8th November.
The Olympic Eagles are housed in Group B and will contend with Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa in that order at the Al Salam Stadium. Hosts Egypt head Group A that also has Ghana, Cameroon and Mali with matches to hold at the Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 9th November.
The top three teams at the eight –nation finals will qualify to represent Africa in the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Amapakabo also picked goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar, defender Josiah Chukwudi, and lively attacking midfielders Ndifreke Effiong, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Sunusi Ibrahim.
21 OLYMPIC EAGLES FOR U23 AFCON TITLE DEFENCE IN EGYPT
Goalkeepers: Adamu Abubakar (Wikki Tourists); Mohammed Galadima (Nasarawa United); Kingdom Osayi (Giant Brillers)
Defenders: Olisah Ndah (Remo Stars); Samuel Atavti (Esperance FC, Tunisia); Valentine Ozornwafor (UD Almeria, Spain); Sincere Seth (Boluspor FC, Turkey); Josiah Chukwudi (Spartak Tranava, Slovakia); Anthony Izuchukwu (Nest Sotra, Norway); Bitok Stephen (FC Isloch, Belarus)
Midfielders: Sunusi Ibrahim (Nasarawa United); Aliyu Yau Adam (Spartak Jurmala, Latvia); Muyiwa Olabiran (Tambov FC, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Huesca, Spain); Ndifreke Effiong (Akwa United); Sunday Faleye (Wacker FC, Austria); Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford FC, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Basaksehir FC, Turkey)
Forwards: Orji Okwonkwo (Bologna FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Bright Enobakhare (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)