AFCON Qualifiers 2023: Aribo, Awoniyi Report for Camp

AFCON Qualifiers 2023: Aribo, Awoniyi Report for Camp
Credit: Iconsport

With the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 Qualifiers on the horizon, the Super Eagles players who have been called up for the game against Sierra Leone on Sunday, June 18th. Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi, Everton’s star midfielder, Alex Iwobi and Southampton’s Joe Aribo are among the players that have arrived at the Super Eagles camp for international duty in Lagos.

Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi
Credit: Iconsport

Players from other European teams have also arrived in Lagos for the AFCON Qualifiers include Moses Simon (Nantes), Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem), Samuel Chukwueze (Villareal), Frank Onyeka  (Brentford), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Ademola Lookman (Atalanta), William Troost-Ekong (Watford), Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes) and Wilfred Ndidii (Leicester City). 

Other players like Napoli’s in demand superstar striker, Victor Osimhen, the controversial Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa, whose inclusion has been greeted by mixed reactions, FC Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi and Bright Osayi Samuel. 

Locally based international call ups, Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba, Divine Nwachukwu of Bendel Insurance, Victor Sochima and Chidiebube Duru of Rivers United all started for their respective clubs in the Nigeria Professional Professional League (NPFL) playoff games played on Sunday in Lagos. After the games, they reported for international duty. 

The Task At Hand 

The Nigeria National football team are currently top of Group A with Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea-Bissau. They have amassed  9 points in four games and need only one more win to secure qualification. They travel to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium, Monrovia where the Leone stars await them. 

The Nigeria Super Eagles will definitely be the favorites to win the match and end up group winners, but they must not take their opponents for granted like they did Guinea-Bissau at home back in March. Jose Peserio’s team is one that still lacks identity, but this win could be a step toward better things.

Sierra Leone on the other hand, have their qualification hopes hanging by a thread. They are third in their group with five points from four games. They are two points behind second placed Guinea Bissau who take on the group’s weakest side in Sao Tome and Principe. 

They will go into the game on Sunday as underdogs against the League leaders knowing that if they do not win and Guinea-Bissau win their fixture, their AFCON 2023 qualification hopes are over. On the other hand, if Guinea-Bissau drop points in their next fixture, the race for second place will go down to the final day of qualifications.

Super Eagles Squad for AFCON Qualifiers

Goalkeepers

Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel); Victor Sochima (Rivers United); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC) 

Defenders

William Ekong (Watford FC, England); Calvin Bassey (Ajax FC, The Netherlands); Kevin Akpoguma (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany); Chidiebube Duru (Rivers United); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain)

Midfielders

Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Divine Nwachukwu (Bendel Insurance); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England)

Forwards

Moses Simon (Nantes FC, France);  Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England) 

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago