See Super Eagles of Nigeria’ Final 23 Man List for Russia 2018
Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles of Nigeria’s coach, has announced his final squad of 23 players, ahead of tomorrow’s deadline given for all national team coaches to finalize and announce their squads for the 2018 World Cup.
Here is Nigeria’s final list of players:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho.
Defenders: William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Brian Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile and Tyronne Ebuehi.
Midfielders: Mikel John Agu, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Joel Obi.
Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Simeon Nwankwo.
The list shows that Ola Aina of Chelsea Football Club of England and Mikel Agu of FC Porto of Portugal, would not join Nigeria’s flight to Russia. Both of them were in Nigeria’s bench in yesterday’s pre – World Cup friendly match against England. That friendly match ended 2-1 in favor of England.
Alex Iwobi scored Nigeria’s consolation goal in the 47th minute of that match, after the country had fallen behind to Gary Cahill and Harry Kane’s first half strikes.
Iwobi’s goal is Nigeria’s first and only goal against England, in three outings. The first outing between both countries was in 1994. It was a friendly match played in Wembley, venue of yesterday’s game. England won 1-0. David Platt scored England’s only goal in that match, through a header from a free kick. Almost similarly, Gary Cahill scored England’s first goal through a header from a corner kick, in yesterday’s match.
The next meeting between Nigeria and England was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup where both countries were in the same group, with Argentina and Sweden. That outing ended 0-0.
England has never lost to any African side. Tunisia, one of Africa’s representatives at the World Cup, would play against England in a Group G match on Monday, June 18.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of Joel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi in Nigeria’s final list would likely attract harsh comments from football fans in Nigeria, judging from the volume of adverse reactions that have accompanied their outputs in yesterday’s match. Most fans commented on twitter that Joel and Onazi were responsible for England’s dominance over Nigeria in the first half of that match.
Nigeria gained confidence in the second half and played spiritedly, when Joel and Onazi were replaced by John Ogu and Oghenekaro Etebo, respectively. Thus, Pooja (@PoojaMedia) commented: “Look at how Ogu calm down the middle. Mikel is now released more to the front due to Ogu’s matured deep role duties. This is what Onazi and Joel Obi combined couldn’t offer in the first half.“
This post from Adebayo Bankole Akintunde (@Adebanqie) sums up the trend of opinion on twitter: “Dear Genat Rohr,
Please note that Ogenyi Onazi & Joel Obi shouldn’t start any of our World cup matches.
Eghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Ndidi should be considered first.
The second half clearly shows this. Also keep this 4-4-2 position. Its better.
Like Rohr admitted in his post-match comment yesterday, the outcome of the match against England shows that there is still a lot of work to do, to be ready for the World Cup. It is hoped that players like Iwobi, Ebuehi, Etebo and Mikel Obi who fared well yesterday, would keep doing as well as desired, while others like Joel and Onazi are expected to start doing well to justify their inclusions in the final list.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah
Photos: The NFF