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Nwakali, Awoniyi, 19 others make Nigeria’s title defence squad


Olympic Eagles head out to Egypt . Photo; TWITTER/NFF

National U-23 Head Coach, Imama Amapakabo has named team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, defenders Anthony Izuchukwu, Sincere Seth and Olisah Ndah, midfielders Kelechi Nwakali, Muyiwa Olabiran and Ndifreke Effiong, and forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Orji Okoronkwo in his final list of 21 players to defend the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt next week.
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 flags off in Cairo on November 8.
The Olympic Eagles are housed in Group B and will contend with Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, and South Africa in that order at the Al Salam Stadium.


Hosts, Egypt, head Group A that also has Ghana, Cameroon, and Mali with matches to hold at the Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Cote d’Ivoire on November 9.
The top three teams at the eight-nation finals will qualify to represent Africa in the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Amapakabo also picked goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar, defender Josiah Chukwudi, and lively attacking midfielders Ndifreke Effiong, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Sunusi Ibrahim.
In the Nigerian U-23 squad to Egypt are goalkeepers Adamu Abubakar (Wikki Tourists); Mohammed Galadima (Nasarawa United) and Kingdom Osayi (Giant Brillers).
The defenders are 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); and Bitok Stephen (FC Isloch, Belarus).

In the midfield are 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); and Azubuike Okechukwu (Basaksehir FC, Turkey).
To forage for goals for Nigeria are Orji Okoronkwo (Bologna FC, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); and Bright Enobakhare (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England). 


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