U-23 AFCON Qualifier: Chukwueze, Awoniyi, Okereke to lead attack against Libya

The trio of Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and David Okereke will lead the U-23 Eagles onslaught for goals in Wednesday’s U-23 AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations) qualifying fixture against Libya.

The three players are among the overseas-based professionals selected for the two-legged game by head coach of the team Imama Amapakabo.

Chukwueze who has enjoyed a fine season with Villarreal in the LaLiga was exempted from the Super Eagles squad for the upcoming games against Seychelles and the Pharaohs of Egypt so that he could feature against the Libyans in U-23 AFCON qualifier.

The 19-year-old has scored six goals and recorded two assists in 26 appearances in all competitions for the Yellow Submarines so far this season.

Awoniyi has rediscovered his goal scoring ability since linking up with Belgian club, Royal Excel Mouscron on loan in January after struggling to make impact on loan at Gent in the first part of the campaign where he failed to hit the back of the net in 16 games.

He has scored seven goals in his first eight games for Royal Excel Mouscron.

The former Golden Eaglets star picked up a knee injury in Mouscron’s 1-1 home draw against Sint Truiden last weekend but is still hopeful of facing the Libyans.

Little known Okereke who plays for Italian Serie B side Spezia has banged in eight goals in 24 appearances for the club this season.

Caykur Rizespor of Turkey midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu, Kelechi Nwakali, Chidera Eze and Orji Okonkwo are some of the other overseas-based players invited for the match.

The U-23 AFCON qualifying match will hold at the Bengerdan Stadium in Bengerdan, Tunisia.

Libya is still unable to play international matches at home dueLibyans after-effects of the Arab-Spring political turmoil that began in 2011.

The reverse fixture will come up at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on Tuesday March 26.

The U-23 Eagles are the defending champions of the U-23 AFCON.

Africa’s flag-bearers in the Men’s Football event of Tokyo 2020 Olympics will emerge during the third Africa U-23 Africa Cup of Nations to hold in Egypt in November this year.

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