Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi were snubbed for Nigeria’s international friendly against Costa Rica.
Only Nigeria Professional Football League players named
Kayode Bankole and Dominion Ohaka lead the cast
Portugal friendly also close to the Super Eagles
WHAT HAPPENED? Costa Rica will welcome West Africans in San Jose on November 10th.
The players called up are training at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan last week.
There is no place for Iwobi, who has been a good midfielder for Everton as well as Osimhen.
The Napoli star missed Nigeria’s previous friendly against Algeria and should be involved in upcoming missions. He, however, was snubbed despite having hit the ground since his return from injury.
THE BIGGEST FRAMEWORK: The squad was named by coach Salisu Yusuf a day after the Football Federation of Nigeria cleared up rumors that coach José Peseiro did not receive his salary.
The federation added that the former Al Ahly coach has already presented a list of the players he intends to use against Portugal in the friendly on 17 November.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Bankole, utility player Ohaka and midfielder Afeez Nosiru head up Yusuf’s team.
The NPFL dominated team also features Nathaniel Nwosu, Daniel Bameyi, Samuel Kalu, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Mustapha Jibrin and Evans Ogbonda.
Others in the 18-man cast are Samson Paul, Daniel Wotlai, Ezekiel Edidiong, Qudus Akanni, Shina Akinniran, Sunday Faleye, Jerry Alex, Isaiah Ejeh and Suleiman Garba.
While the prominent Super Eagles have been snubbed for the Costa Rica encounter, they are expected to feature prominently when Peseiro names the team to face Portugal.
Calvin Bassey, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, Emmanuel Dennis, Paul Onuachu, Terem Moffi and Kelechi Iheanacho are among the stars that are expected to make up the bulk of the cast that will pass by the selection test.
Friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal are expected to improve the former African champions – who will not be in the 2022 World Cup finals – ahead of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
WHAT HAPPENS TO NIGERIA? After a loss to Algeria in September, the team is under strong pressure to beat the Central Americans. A win over Portugal will also help to boost morale before Afcon’s qualifiers resume.