Both captain Okechukwu Azubuike and Taiwo Awoniyi have joined Nigeria in time for tomorrow’s make-or-break U23 AFCON Group B clash against Zambia.
The defending champions have further been boosted with the payment of 20-day training camp allowance.
The team had threatened to embark on a pay strike after they were owed allowances as well as bonuses.
Azubuike and Awoniyi could not join the team for the opening game against Cote d’Ivoire Saturday after their respective clubs refused to release them because the tournament is not on the international calendar.
The experienced Azubuike, who has been capped by the Super Eagles, will be expected to stabilise the midfield after stand-in captain Kelechi Nwakali failed to impose himself in the middle of the park against the Ivorians.
Mainz 05 striker Awoniyi will be counted on to deliver the goals against South Africa after coach Imama Amapakabo’s team struggled in front of goal at the weekend.
Nigeria are bottom of the standings without any points, while Cote d’Ivoire top on three points.
South Africa and Zambia have a point each after they played out a scoreless draw.
Only the top two teams will qualify for the knockout rounds of the tournament, which is a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.