Olympic Eagles coach, Imama Ampakabo kept to his promise of starting at least five home-based players in the first leg of his Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier away to Libya.
Footballlive.ng gathered that the entire defence line for Wednesday’s game in Tunisia had only players from the Nigeria Professional Footballl League (NPFL).
The array was lead in goal by Adamu Abubakar from Wikki Tourist of Bauchi, while the full-backs were Stephen Egbe from Enyimba of Aba and Ebube Duru from Lobi Stars of Makurdi, with his club mate, John Lazarus pairing Mountain of Fire & Miracles (MFM) FC of Lagos’ Joshua Akpudje.
Other home-based players in the squad, who made it to the bench included Olawale Oremade (Kwara United), Ugochukwu Anumudu (Lobi Stars, Makurdi), Oluwadamilare Olatunji (Enyimba), Fatai Gbadamosi (Shooting Stars), Mohammed Galadima (Nasarawa United) and Etiboy Akpan (Akwa United).
However, foreign-based players took up all the posititions in midfield and attack, as Amapakabo relied heavily on goals to come from the galaxy of in-form youngsters he invited from Europe.
The midfield for Wednesday’s game had Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto B, Portugal), Azubuike Okechukwu (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey) and Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal, Spain).
The team’s forward line was taken by Taiwo Awoniyi (Royal Mouscron, Belgium), Muyiwa Olabiran (Tanbov, Russia) and Dennis Bonaventure (Club Brugge, Belgium).
Those who started from the bench were Adebayo Ojo (Brookes FC, UK), Orji Okonkwo (Impact Montreal, Canada), Tosin Kehinde (CD Feirense, Portugal), David Okereke (Spezia, Italy), Chidera Ezeh (Portimonense FC, Portugal), Kingsley Michael (AC Perugia, Italy).