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Nigeria recall captain Musa for 2021 Africa Cup qualifiers

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Nigeria’s forward Ahmed Musa attends a press conference at the Alexandria stadium in Alexandria, northern Egypt, on June 29, 2019, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group B football match between Madagascar and Nigeria. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)


Nigeria recalled skipper Ahmed Musa, South Africa-based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and midfielder Mikel Agu on Monday for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

The Super Eagles will open their qualifying campaign for the tournament in Cameroon on November 14 in the southern Nigerian city of Uyo and then travel to Lesotho three days later.

Musa, who plays for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, missed the recent friendly against five-time world champions Brazil in Singapore due to injury.

Akpeyi had been overlooked since the Africa Cup in Egypt after coach Gernot Rohr criticised the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper for Algeria’s stoppage-time winner in the semi-final.

Defensive midfielder Agu, based in Portugal with Vitoria Guimaraes, returns having not been considered for selection since missing the cut for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

However, Brighton defender Leon Balogun is only on standby after struggling for playing time at the Premier League club.

Injured Stoke City midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo is also on the standby list along with and Czech Republic-based striker Peter Olayinka.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs/RSA), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC), Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf/GER)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes/ESP), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor/TUR) Chidozie Awaziem (Leganes/ESP), William Ekong (Udinese/ITA), Ola Aina (Torino/ITA), Jamilu Collins (Paderborn/GER), Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS)

Midfielders: Alex Iwobi (Everton/ENG), Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes/POR), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/ENG), Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers/SCO), Ramon Azeez (Granada/ESP)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr/KSA), Victor Osimhen (Lille/FRA), Moses Simon (Nantes/FRA), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC/ESP), Paul Onuachu (Genk/BEL), Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge/BEL), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/FRA)

Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion/ENG); Peter Olayinka (Slavia Prague/CZE); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City/ENG)


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