Kelechi Nwakali and Orji Okwonkwo were sluggish and looked unfit in today’s test game for the Nigeria U23s in Abuja, while officials said they are waiting on Germany-based Taiwo Awoniyi to join the U23 AFCON-bound squad.
Niger Tornadoes held the U23s to a goalless draw.
Nwakali has yet to play an official game for new club CD Huesca, while it has been several weeks since Okwonkwo played in the regular season in the Major Soccer League (MLS).
In the meantime, team officials told SCORENigeria they are hopeful German Bundesliga club Mainz 05 will release Awoniyi in time for the U23 AFCON, which kicks off on November 8 in Cairo.
The final 23-man squad fly out to Egypt from Abuja Thursday.
Nigeria will open their campaign against Cote d’Ivoire.
They are also drawn with Zambia and South Africa in the tournament, which will also serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria U23 Starting XI vs Tornadoes (4-3-3) – Abubakar Adamu- Samuel Atvati, Ebube Duru, Stephen Manyo, Sincere Seth – Olisa Ndah, Kelechi Nwakali, Tom Dele-Bashiru – Sunusi Ibrahim, Ndifreke Effiong, Orji Okwonkwo