Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, on Monday shockingly excluded Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, and Chelsea’s Victor Moses from his list of 18 overseas-based players invited for next month’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania.
The 18 overseas-based players are expected to arrive in the Eagles’ camp in Abuja on Monday, August 31, ahead of the match billed for Dar es Salaam on September 5. They will join the 23 home-based players, who arrived in camp on Monday.
Ighalo is one of the most potent strikers in England in the last one year, scoring 20 goals last season to help Watford return to the English Premier League, and then scoring on his debut, against Everton, in the EPL. The former Udinese man also scored in the Eagles’ 2-0 defeat of Chad in an AFCON qualifier in Kaduna in June.
Oliseh left out Chelsea forward Moses, who had a nice time on loan at Stoke City, before impressing in pre-season with the Blues, but handed surprise first call-ups to Russia-based duo of Sylvester Igbonu (FC Ufa) and Izunna Uzochukwu (Amkar Perm), as well as 29-year-old Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme.
In-form Esperance striker, Emem Eduok, who scored on his international debut in November last year, and 20-year-old Gent forward, Moses Simon, who made his debut in a friendly game against Uganda in May, returned to the squad.
Captain of the 2007 U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eaglets, Haruna Lukman, who last played for the Eagles at the 2010 World Cup, also got an opportunity to revive his international career. His teammate at cadet level, Rabiu Ibrahim, who returned to the Eagles in the match against Chad, after a long time out in the international wilderness, made the team alongside Torino midfielder Joel Obi, Al Ain striker Emmanuel Emenike and Anthony Ujah, the Werder Bremen forward.
But missing out is Chelsea midfielder Obi Mikel, Brown Ideye (West Bromwich Albion), and Elderson Echiejile (Monaco). The trio has not been consistent for their clubs recently and their exclusion may not come as a surprise, as Oliseh had warned that benchwarmers would not be a part of his team.
Lazio’s Ogenyi Onazi misses the tie after he was handed a two-match ban by CAF for his red card in the game against Chad.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made the list alongside defenders Leon Balogun, Godfrey Oboabona and Kenneth Omeruo.