BY Amaechi Agbo
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has finally handed a late call-up to striker, Paul Onuachu ahead of the March 27 and 30th 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho, in that order.
Rohr invited the Genk striker to replace Nantes FC winger, Moses Simon who has been a serious doubt for the two qualifiers.
The 26-year-old had been snubbed by the Super Eagles’ selectors for captain Ahmed Musa – which became a talking point by Nigerian fans.
Also, Onuachu disclosed that he was not disappointed by the decision, while revealing he would not give up the fight for a place in the three-time African champions’ squad.
“It’s the coach’s decision, and I respect it, he has the final say, and there’s nothing I can do to it, but I will do my best at all times and always fight to represent my fatherland,” the former Midtjylland forward told the Punch.
However, the German tactician has extended a callup to the Belgium based striker as a contingency plan as it concerns the availability of France based Moses Simon. Few days earlier, Henry Onyekuru was drafted in as a replacement for injured Samuel Kalu.
“Following the uncertainty regarding the availability of players based in France (due to Covid-19 laws guiding the country), Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has extended invitation to KRC Genk striker Paul Onuachu,” a tweet from the Nigeria Football Federation read.
Onuachu leads the goalscoring charts in the Belgian First Division A with 25 goals in 29 matches in the ongoing 2020-21 campaign.
He scored his only international goal for Nigeria in their 1-0 defeat of Egypt in a friendly encounter in March 2019. As it stands, he boasts of nine caps under his belt for the 2019 African champions, which includes three appearances at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Super Eagles will take on the Crocodiles in Group L’s last game on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Three days earlier, they would face Benin Republic at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto-Novo.