By Abdulrasheed Adelakun
The players are expected to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja
Super Eagles’ goalkeepers John Noble and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, as well as forward Anayo Iwuala top the list of 25 players invited to camp for next month’s international friendly match between Nigeria and Mexico at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the State of California, United States of America.
Three–time African champions Nigeria will clash with the CONCACAF Gold Cup holders on Saturday, 3rd July in what is part of the Mexican’s MexTour Series that will see them play three matches before clashing with Nigeria.
Also invited are Rivers’ United ace defender Ifeanyi Anaemena, Enyimba FC midfielder Ekundayo Ojo and forwards Ibrahim Olawoyin (Rangers International) and Stephen Jude (Kwara United).
The players are expected to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Tuesday, 22nd June with their travel documents. Only 22 of them will travel to the United States of America for the glamour friendly.
The match, which kicks off at 7.30pm LA 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 trumped a US Gold Cup encounter in Dallas (State of Texas) 2-1 on 24th June 1995.
Close-fought confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on 13th January 1995 (Mexico prevailed 5-4 on penalties in the quarter-final match), and 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 that has hosted major international championships of all grades, will be at full capacity for the friendly match.
NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, said while announcing the encounter last month: “We are happy to be able to announce this match, which is a clash between two very big teams from two different continents. Mexico against Nigeria is a big match any day and the venue is class.”
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 Oriyomi 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 Ali Malam (Kano Pillars); Neurot Emmanuel (Plateau United); Abdulmutalif Sanusi (Katsina United)