Uzoho, Nwakali get Eagles chance, Rohr recalls Onyekuru

Posted on Oct 31 2017 - 8:40am by admin

Festus Abu

Deportivo La Coruna young goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and Manchester City  forward  Chidiebere Nwakali  have been given   a chance to stake  claims for Russia 2018 World Cup selection after Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr   named them  in his 25-man squad for  the Super Eagles’ next two fixtures.

 This will be the first time Uzoho and Nwakali, who  were in the squad that  helped Nigeria win the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup  in the United Arab Emirates,  will be invited to the senior national team.

Nigeria  face Algeria in their last  World Cup  qualifier  in Bilda on  November 10  and travel to Russia for a friendly against  Argentina  in Krasnodar on November 14.

Uzoho, who turned  19 on  Saturday,  made his Spanish La Liga debut for struggling Deportivo  in a 0-0 draw with Eibar on October 15.

Rohr, who  is searching  for a top-class   keeper after his team’s first choice Carl Ikeme  was  diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July,  will look to Uzoho, who joined  the struggling Spanish club from  Qatari Aspire Academy in 2013, to push for the number one shirt ahead of Ikechukwu Ezenwa and  Daniel Akpeyi, who also made Monday’s list.

Nwakali, 20, who joined  Norwegian club Sogndal on loan from Man City in February, is expected to battle for a role in the  Eagles’ star-studded defensive midfield   position.

 Rohr kept faith with the majority of the  team, who beat Zambia 1-0 in Uyo on October 7 to help Nigeria seal their place in Russia 2018, for the qualifier against Algeria and the friendly clash against Argentina.

Conspicuous by their absence from the  squad are recuperating Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses, Turkey-based defender Elderson Echiejile and  Feirense keeper Dele Alampasu. Alampasu has yet to play any games for his club this season.

Dutch-born defender Tyronne Ebuehi, who was placed on standby for the Zambia clash, is on the list alongside  big-name players such as   Mikel Obi, Wilfred Ndidi,  Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi,  Shehu Abdullahi, Ogenyi  Onazi, Odion Ighalo, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong.

Anderlecht’s rising star Henry Onyekuru was recalled  by Rohr.

The forward, who is expected to join his parent club Everton in January, made his international debut in a 3-0 friendly win against Togo in June.

Russia-born  full-back Brian Idowu is on the standby list along with struggling Turkey-based defender Kenneth Omeruo.

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