U23 Africa Cup of Nations:Captain Azubuike Okechukwu,Nwakali,Awoniyi lead the quest for an Olympic ticket
Imama Amapakabo, head coach of the Olympic Eagles, has named Kelechi Nwakali, Taiwo Awoniyi and nineteen others to defend the U23 Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt.
Captain Azubuike Okechukwu, Anthony Izuchukwu, Sincere Seth, Olisah Ndah, Muyiwa Olabiran, Ndifreke Effiong, and Orji Okwonkwo all made the final list.
Nigeria, champions of the second edition of the competition in Senegal four years ago, will seek to retain their title when the third edition of the championship begin in Cairo on November 8.
The Olympic Eagles are in Group B and will contend with Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa in that order at the Al Salam Stadium.
Egypt, the hosts, are placed in Group A that also has Ghana, Cameroon and Mali while their matches will hold at the Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, November 9.
The top three teams at the eight-nation finals will qualify to represent Africa in the men’s football tournament at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Amapakabo also picked Adamu Abubakar, Josiah Chukwudi, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Sunusi Ibrahim.
Twenty-one Olympic Eagles forU23 AFCON:
Goalkeepers: Adamu Abubakar (Wikki Tourists); Mohammed Galadima (Nasarawa United); Kingdom Osayi (Giant Brillers)
Defenders: Olisah Ndah (Remo Stars); Samuel Atavti (Esperance FC, Tunisia); Valentine Ozornwafor (UD Almeria, Spain); Sincere Seth (Boluspor FC, Turkey); Josiah Chukwudi (Spartak Tranava, Slovakia); Anthony Izuchukwu (Nest Sotra, Norway); Bitok Stephen (FC Isloch, Belarus)
Midfielders: Sunusi Ibrahim (Nasarawa United); Aliyu Yau Adam (Spartak Jurmala, Latvia); Muyiwa Olabiran (Tambov FC, Russia); Kelechi Nwakali (FC Huesca, Spain); Ndifreke Effiong (Akwa United); Sunday Faleye (Wacker FC, Austria); Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford FC, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Basaksehir FC, Turkey)
Forwards: Orji Okwonkwo (Bologna FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); Bright Enobakhare (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)