NPFL stars Ezenwa, Okechukwu in Eagles squad for international friendlies

Enyimba goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Akwa United striker Gabriel Okechukwu have been called up to join 26 others for the Super Eagles pre-World Cup friendly matches against Poland and Serbia later this month.

Ezenwa is listed as one of three goalkeepers by Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr alongside Daniel Akpeyi and Spain-based Francis Uzoho.

The former Sunshine Stars stopper has been in good form for the national team, standing between the sticks for the crucial last four World Cup qualifying games (home-and-away to Cameroon, home to Zambia and away to Algeria).

The Enyimba custodian also kept goal for the Super Eagles in the WAFU Cup and CHAN in Ghana and Morocco respectively recently.

Okechukwu’s inclusion in the team comes on the back of his impressive outing at the CHAN where Nigeria finished second.

The Akwa United forward is listed in attack alongside big hitters like Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo for places upfront.

Centre half Stephen Eze who last featured for FC Ifeanyiubah before completing a move to Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv is also listed as well as former 3SC striker Junior Ajayi now with Al Ahly.

The usual suspects in the 28-man roster are captain Mikel John Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, William Troost-Ekong and Wilfred Ndidi among others.

Three–time African champions Nigeria will trade tackles with Poland at the 43,000–capacity Stadium Wroclaw on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Four days later, the Eagles will take to the pitch against Serbia at The Hive, London – home ground of Barnet FC and London Bees.

These are the first two in a list of six friendly encounters planned for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) ahead of the 21st FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna, Spain); IKECHUKWU EZENWA (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Tyronne Ebuehi (Ado Den Haag, The Netherlands); Olaoluwa Aina (Hull City, England); Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge KSV, Belgium); Brian Idowu (Amkar Perm, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes FC, France); William Ekong (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Stephen Eze (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Bulgaria)

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Tianjin Teda, China); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas, Spain); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Uche Agbo (Standard Liege, Belgium); Joel Obi (Torino FC, Italy)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Junior Ajayi (Al Ahly, Egypt); GABRIEL OKECHUKWU (Akwa United)