by Imhons Erons
One of Nigeria’s most prominent performers in the Dutch topflight breezed into camp on Wednesday morning just over 30 hours before the Eagles take on the Wild Beasts
All the 23 players invited for the Super Eagles’ doubleheader World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic are now in camp, following the arrival of Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
Okoye was in action in the Eredivisie on Sunday as Sparta narrowly lost 2-1 to PSV at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. That loss is the ninth consecutive game the youngster has failed to keep a clean sheet in the Dutch top-flight.
The 22-year-old is the Super Eagles’ number one gloves, having started nine of the last ten matches played by the national team. The only exception is the Mexico friendly in which Nigeria fielded a weakened team.
However, Okoye could be replaced in the starting lineup versus the Wild Beasts after reporting late to camp.
Head coach Gernot Rohr has been tipped to name Kaizer Chiefs’ Daniel Akpeyi, but the German manager could also favour another early bird Francis Uzoho for the role in between the posts.
Russia-based Chidera Ejuke and Turkey-based Chidozie Awaziem were the first to arrive at the national team’s Lagos camp.
At the same time, Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Victor Osimhen only joined the team training on Tuesday.
Group C leaders Nigeria are heavy favourites to overrun basement side Central Africans when they meet on Thursday inside the Teslim Balogun Stadium.