AFCON 2019: Choosing Between Musa, Iheanacho, Success, Onyekuru To Replace Ighalo
The Super Eagles scored seven goals in their last two matches and Odion Ighalo scored five of those goals.
But on a revenge mission to South Africa – after losing the first match of the qualification series in June 2017 – the Eagles now need to pick up at least one point on Saturday to guarantee qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Cup tournament, and they have to do it without Ighalo, ruled out with a hamstring injury.
So who should Gernot Rohr hand over the striking baton to?
Various names come to mind; from Kelechi Iheanacho, who has been warming the bench since Ighalo’s hot scoring streak, Ahmed Musa, Isaac Success, Henry Onyekuru, who is not fully settled into the Eagles, and Victor Osimhen, who has been in the goals.
Talking to Kwese football website, Ighalo said, “It is a very important game for us because we have missed two Nations Cups and we want this so bad. Also, we don’t want to lose to them [South Africa] again.”
Unfortunately, the Eagles will miss his recent potency in front of goal.
While many will think of picking from Iheanacho, Success, Osimhen, and Onyekuru and leaving Musa as a wide forward, Johnny Edward, who writes for Complete Sports trumped for the team’s assistant captain, Musa.
“I’d go for experience at the moment. Musa can also play in that role,” Edward said.
Alternatively, Adeyemi Adesanya wants to freshen up the position.
“A little bit of freshness won’t hurt; I believe this is Onyekuru’s big chance, but knowing Rohr and his reluctance to take bold decisions in his selection; there won‘t be any surprise if he opts for experience with Ihenancho and Musa as part of the front three.
Onyekuru reminded football fans and national team selectors he still knows the way to goals with a brace against Kayserispor last weekend though his record for the Eagles is no competitive goal though he got one against Togo in a friendly in 2017.
Sola Aiyepeku plumped for Isaac Success despite the Watford striker having drawn blanks in his two appearances for the senior team.
“He [Success] is big, strong, experienced, and has played under a few systems at Watford. He will also have the desire to prove himself to Nigerians,” Aiyepeku said.