Ighalo Benched For Tuesday’s Friendly, Akpeyi To Start


Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has disclosed that Shanghai Shenhua of China striker, Odion Jude Ighalo will not start Tuesday’s international friendly against Egypt, while Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi will be among the first 11 in Asaba.


Footballlive.ng gathered that the Franco-German gaffer wants to try out new players, with a view to experimenting from the fixture at Stephen Keshi Stadium, in which the visitors will be without their key player, Mohammed Salah from Liverpool of England.

With The Pharaohs looking depleted for Tuesday’s match in the Delta State capital, Rohr is ready to take some gambles as well, hence his decision to leave out many of his top players.

Stand-in captain, Ahmed Musa has already been excused from the game, in order to honour a crucial commitment with his club, Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia, thereby leaving options available in attack for Henry Onyekuru and Paul Oniachu to again make hay.

With first choice goalkeeper, Francis Odinaka Uzoho seconded to the under-23 team, Olympic Eagles, in a rescue mission against Libya on Monday, the posts have also been left open for Akpeyi and Katsina United shot-stopper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa to battle it out.

Although Ezenwa is the second choice, Rohr has given Akpeyi the nod to start on Tuesday, with an opportunity for the ex-Chippa United of South Africa keeper to regain the spot he lost after two errors allowed Bafana Bafana beat Nigeria in Uyo at the start of the AFCON 2019 qualifiers.

Rohr revealed: “Akpeyi wil start, Ezenwa will play second half. Ighalo is not fit to start but he will be on the bench.
“We will have new players against Egypt. New striker, new defender. We want to see other players, but we want to play good football.”


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