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Eguavoen unveils weapons of mass destruction against Ghana




Like a war commander, Nigeria’s rescue coach, Augustine Eguavoen has improved on the arsenal he employed at the last Africa Cup of Nations with the invitation of potent strikers while at the same time, putting in place solid defence.

In his list of 32 players and a reserve army of seven, the often attack-oriented coach this Friday unveiled his army of invaders who will fly to Cape Coast for the first leg of the World Cup play-off.

Headlining the list is Ademola Lookman, the former England junior international who is expected to terrorise the Black Stars from the right wing to complement the dangerous incursions from the left by the ever-reliable Moses Simon.

The Leicester City FC of England forward Ademola Lookman only recently cleared by FIFA to switch international allegiance. He will therefore be a debutant if fielded in any of the two matches.  

Also in the armoury is former U17 World Cup star Akinkunmi Amoo who is officially called for the first time into the Super Eagles’ fold while defender Calvin Bassey and forward Emmanuel Dennis return to the fold of the three –time African champions.


The strike force includes Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo, Sadiq Umar, Emmanuel Dennis and Kelechi Iheanacho.

A glaring absentee is Alex Iwobi ostensibly owing to the red card in the ill-fated Nigeria’s round of 16 match with Tunisia in Garoua.

The other invitees are the usual suspects. On the list are Ahmed Musa, William Ekong and Wifred Ndidi.

Also called up are goalkeepers Maduka Okoye and Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Oluwasemilogo Ajayi and Abdullahi Shehu, midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo, and Samuel Chukwueze.

AFCON 2021 forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Peter Olayinka, defender Chidozie Awaziem and long-time absentee Ogenyi Onazi are in a seven-man standby list.


The camp opens in Abuja on 21st March, with a 24 –man final list for the two big games to be released at a later date.

Nigeria take on Ghana in the 20,000 –capacity Cape Coast Sports Stadium as from 7.30pm on Friday 25th March, with the reverse leg set for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday, 29th March as from 6pm. The winner over two legs will earn one of Africa’s five tickets to the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals, scheduled for 14th November – 18th December this year in Qatar.


Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Defenders: Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Leon Balogun (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Calvin Bassey (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Abdullahi Shehu (AC Omonia, Cyprus); Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto, Portugal)


Midfielders: Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Watford FC, England); Akinkunmi Amoo (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk, Turkey); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Sadiq Umar (UD Almeria, Spain); Odion Jude Ighalo (Al-Hilal FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Emmanuel Dennis (Watford FC, England); Ademola Lookman (Leicester City, England)

Standby: Chidozie Awaziem (Alanyaspor FC, Turkey); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin, Germany); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic); Ogenyi Onazi (Al-Adalah FC, Saudi Arabia)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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