One of the subjects Gernot Rohr spoke about at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday was the composition of the Dream Team VII, with the German stating that not all the best players are with the team at the ongoing U23 Africa Cup of Nations because the tournament is clashing with the AFCON qualifiers.
Of the 23 players Rohr named to his roster for the AFCON qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho, six are eligible to represent the country at the 2020 Olympic Games namely Maduka Okoye, Chidozie Awaziem, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Emmanuel Dennis and Samuel Kalu.
In addition, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Henry Onyekuru and Josh Maja, who all have caps for the Super Eagles but have not been called up for the AFCONQ, are age-eligible to play for coach Imama Amapakabo’s side.
”I was in Cairo in the same stadium we picked a bronze medal, Al Salam Stadium, and I saw our U23 team playing so a little nostalgia was there,” Rohr told reporters including allnigeriasoccer.com.
”Now the new qualifiers for the next AFCON in Cameroon we want to go to Cameroon and to do well again, that’s why we are happy that we have some players who could not come since the last AFCON, we have two or three of them back now.
”We could see other young players who are interesting for the future and when I saw the average age for the team in Singapore against Brazil, 23.6 years.”
The German continued : ”That’s why our U23 team, they don’t have all the best players because they are with us, it’s the same time so we could not give our best players.
”We have six or seven who are U23; Ola Aina, Awaziem, Ndidi, Chukwueze, Kalu, Osimhen but this is good for our future.
”The qualifiers will be very interesting to see because it is not a friendly.”
Nigeria U23s came from behind to beat Zambia 3-1 on Tuesday evening to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.