Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has listed Enyimba’s goalkeeper John Noble in his 24-man list for Nigeria’s upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.
Noble, Enyimba’s hero in last month’s Confederation Cup playoff second leg tie against Rivers United, surprisingly, has been handed a debut call-up by Rohr.
However, fellow Nigeria Professional Football League shot-stopper Ikechukwu Ezenwa — who’s been in the national team set-up for about a decade — is left out.
First-choice goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup Francis Uzoho is recalled after missing out for over a year.
In-form striker, Sadiq Umar — who’s netted 14 La Liga2 goals for promotion-chasing Almeria — is called up for the first time; but Jupiler Pro League top marksman Paul Onuachu is omitted from the squad.
World Cup star Musa makes the list, despite being without a club since terminating his contract with Saudi club Al-Nassr in October 2020 — and his inclusion is bound to attract criticisms.
Nigeria take on Benin at Charles de Gualle Stadium, Port Novo on March 27, and Lesotho at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, three days later.
Victory in both matches will secure them top spot.
The full list
Goalkeepers: Maduka Okoye, Francis Uzoho, John Noble
Defenders: William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, Chidozie Awaziem, Jamilu Collins, Zaidu Sanusi, Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Semi Ajayi, Shehu Abdullahi, Joe Aribo
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Sadiq Umar
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