Nigeria and Cameroon have both suffered loss of players ahead of their internationally friendly this Friday in Austria, as Victor Osimhen, Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (Simy) and three others have withdrawn from the Super Eagles’ squad list, while The Indomitable Lions have been forced to make adjustments.
Megasportsarena.com gathered that both teams will clash at Weiner Neustadt Stadium, starting from 7:30pm (GMT) and again at same venue on Tuesday, starting at 4pm (GMT), but they will be without some key layers for the two games.
Hot on the heels of earlier reports that Cameroon have called up a replacement from Lille Metropole of France, the Nigerian camp was hit with similar bad news, as Osimhen and Simy led a horde of other withdrawals.
In the same vein, Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) have handed a late call-up to Royal Excel Mouscron of Belgium winger, Serge Tabekou, in place of Lille midfielder Jean Onana, ahead of their friendlies against the Eagles in Austria.
A report by Actu Cameroon disclosed that Onana, who spent this season on loan at Mouscron, pulled out of The Lions’ squad as a result of injury, as the 21-year-old was not involved in the last two games of the Belgian First Division A and his place has now been taken by Tabekou.
Similarly, Nigeria’s absentees also include Glasgow Rangers’ of Scotland midfielder, Joe Aribo and Almeria of Spain striker, Umar Sadiq, making it a total of five players that have withdrawn from the squad, as Ola Aina, Tyronne Ebuehi and Frank Onyeka will also miss the friendlies.
These add to the cluster of earlier absentees, as Glasgow Rangers’ Leon Balogun, West Brom’s Semi Ajayi, Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi, Leganes’ Kenneth Omeruo, Hoffenheim’s Kevin Akpoguma and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze had earlier been left out due to injuries.
In addition, Red Bull Salzburg of Austria midfielder, Samson Tijani, a late call-up, asked to be left out of the squad due to physical problems, thereby leaving Eagles’ coach, Geronot Rohr with a herculean task of finding quick alternatives.
Rohr told ESPN’s Colin Udoh: “We had nine defenders in list. Six now are out. They said they had some injuries and the doctors from the clubs said they need to rest because they have some pains. So we got some medical attestations from the teams.
“Ola Aina told me that his ankle is painful and he cannot make it and the club physio said he cannot play. Then we have Akpoguma, we knew already he is injured and cannot play. Victor Osimhen is injured.
“He sent us an attestation. The meniscus in his knee is painful. Sanusi is injured. He was in Paris to see a doctor, for surgery perhaps but not for the moment. Ebuehi sent us a message with a medical attestation that he cannot make it.
“Semi Ajayi also says he has problems with his back and the Physio says he needs two weeks of rest. Simy Nwankwo also, they send us attestation from his club that he cannot make it because he is injured.”