Head Coach Salisu Yusuf has invited 16 overseas-based players to the team’s camp in preparation for this month’s U23 AFCON final qualifying fixture against Guinea.
Among the invitees is Emmanuel Orban who scored hattrick in the 4-1 defeat of Istanbul Basaksehir in the
Round of 16 UEFA Europa Conference League. His three goals that came within three minutes.
His scoring skill is expected to come to fore when the Olympic Eagles host their Guinean counterparts on Wednesday in Abuja.
The return leg is set for the Complexe Sportif Prince Heritier Moulay Al Hassan from 7pm Morocco time on Tuesday, 28th March. Guinea does not have any venue approved in the country for international matches.
Yusuf’s list of invitees is headed by team captain Success Makanjuola, whose two converted spot kicks against Tanzania earned the 1996 Olympic gold-medallists passage to this final round. There are also midfielder Abiodun Ogunniyi and Bello Babatunde, as well as Belgium-based new headline-grabber Gift Emmanuel Orban.
As happened against the Tanzanians in Dar es Salaam and Ibadan in October last year, Makanjuola is expected to lead the charge against the Guineans in Abuja on Wednesday, perhaps alongside Orban, with Babatunde and Ogunniyi (nicknamed Omo-Jesu) pulling the strings from the middle.
The winner on aggregate will qualify for the Africa U23 Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco later this year, at which Africa’s flag bearers at next year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament will emerge.
Guinea’s delegation for the encounter in Abuja is expected to arrive in Nigeria on Saturday evening.
ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:
Success Makanjuola (FK Liepaja, Latvia); Bello Babatunde (Future FC, Egypt); Isaiah Ejeh (Mjallby Alf, Sweden); Abiodun Ogunniyi (FK Auda, Latvia); Monsuru Opeyemi Abdullahi (FC Vizela, Portugal); Omole Akinyinka Olaoluwakitan (Athletic Newham, UK); Owen Tega Udoh (UD San Sebastian Reyes, Spain); Azeez Temitope Yusuf (Mjallby Alf, Sweden); Charles Uba (Lillestrom FC, Norway); Simon Omon (Clube Operation Desportivo, Portugal); Ihekuna Maximillian Ugochukwu (FC Sfintul Gheorghe Suruceni, Moldova); Chukwudi Goodluck Igbokwe (KAA Gent, Belgium); Abass Saidi (Zagalata FC, Azerbaijan); Ibrahim Buhari (IF Elfsborg, Sweden); Gift Emmanuel Orban (KAA Gent, Belgium); Samuel Amadi (Eramica Cleopatra, Egypt)