By Olawale Alabi
Super Eagles’ goalkeepers John Noble and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as forward Anayo Iwuala headline the list of 25 players called up for July’s international friendly between Nigeria and Mexico.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match is scheduled for the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the State of California, U.S.
Three–time African champions Nigeria will clash with the CONCACAF Gold Cup holders on July 3 in what is part of the
Mexicans’ MexTour Series.
It is a series that will see them play three matches before
clashing with Nigeria.
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), disclosed in a statement on Sunday Rivers United’s ace defender Ifeanyi Anaemena was also called up.
“Also invites to camp are Enyimba International FC midfielder Ekundayo Ojo and forwards Ibrahim Olawoyin of Rangers International and Stephen Jude of Kwara United,” he said.
Olajire disclosed further that the players were expected to report in Abuja on Tuesday with their travel documents.
“Only 22 of them will travel to the U.S. for the glamour
friendly,” he added.
The match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Los Angeles time) will be the sixth confrontation between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws.
The only win in the series has gone to Mexico, when they won the US Gold Cup encounter at Dallas in the State of
Texas 2-1 on June 24 in 1995.
Close-fought confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA Inter-Continental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 13 of 1995.
Mexico had prevailed 5-4 on penalty kicks in the quarter-final match, while there were 0-0 draws in friendly matches in Houston and Atlanta the previous decade.
A friendly game in Mexico also ended 2-2.
It is expected that the LA Coliseum, a 77,500-capacity facility which has hosted major international championships of all grades, will be at full capacity for the friendly match.
INVITED PLAYERS’ FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); John Noble (Enyimba FC)
Defenders: Olisa Ndah (Akwa United); Adekunle Adeleke (Abia Warriors); Tope Olusesi (Rangers International); Ifeanyi Anaemena (Rivers United); Christopher Nwaeze (Kwara United)
Enyinnaya Kazie (Rivers United); Mohammed Zirkiflu (Plateau United); Imoh Ubot (Enyimba FC); Tebo Franklin Degaulle (Nasarawa United); Lawal Murtala (Kwara United)
Midfielders: Anthony Shimaga (Rangers International); Seth Mayi (Akwa United); Uche Nwasonaya (Plateau United); Samuel Nnoshiri (Katsina United); Ekundayo Ojo (Enyimba FC)
Forwards: Anayo Iwuala (Enyimba FC); Stephen Jude (Kwara United); Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International); Charles Ashimene (Akwa United)
Chinonso Ezekwe (Rangers International); Auwalu Malam (Kano Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United). (NAN)