National football team manager, Gernot Rohr, has picked 25 players from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), including the recently-capped Anayo Iwuala, to prosecute the July 4 friendly match against Mexico, scheduled for the United Airlines Field in Los Angeles.
These 25 have been handed a rare chance to prove their mettle in the colours of the Super Eagles with NPFL players largely disenfranchised from the Super Eagles team because of their overseas-based counterparts.
Top of the list of invitees is the Enyimba duo of John Noble and Anayo Iwuala who have already been enjoying fringe roles with the main Nigeria squad.
Heartland’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa makes a return, as well as Rivers United ace defender Ifeanyi Anaemena, is also on the preliminary roster for the Mexico friendly,
Three-time African champions Nigeria will clash with the CONCACAF Gold Cup holders in what is part of the Mexican’s MexTour Series that will see them play three matches before clashing with Nigeria.
As indicated in the press statement issued by the Nigeria Football Federation at the weekend, the invited players are expected to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Tuesday, 22nd June with their travel documents.
Only 22 of the 25 invited players will travel to the United States of America for the glamour friendly.
The match, which kicks off at 7.30 pm LA time will be the sixth meeting between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws.
NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, said while announcing the encounter last month: “We are happy to be able to announce this match, which is a clash between two very big teams from two different continents. Mexico against Nigeria is a big match any day and the venue is class.”
List of invited players
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); John Noble (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors); Tope Olusesi (Rangers); Ifeanyi Anaemena (Rivers United); Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United); Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United); Mohammed Zirkiflu (Plateau United); Imoh Ubot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United); Lawal Oriyomi Murtala (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa United); Uche Nwasonaya (Plateau United); Samuel Nnoshiri (Katsina United); Ekundayo Ojo (Enyimba FC)
Forwards: Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United); Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Ali Malam (Kano Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United)