2022 World Cup qualifiers: Union Berlin star Awoniyi replaces Moffi de Lorient in Nigerian squad

The 24-year-old was rewarded for his impressive streak in the Bundesliga with an invitation to Gernot Rohr’s side

Nigeria have called up Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi to replace injured Terem Moffi for his 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the Central African Republic.

The Super Eagles are set to face Raoul Savoy’s men in Lagos on Thursday before heading to Douala for the return leg three days later.

Awoniyi’s invitation was announced on Sunday after scoring a brace in the second half in Union Berlin’s 2-1 win over Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga.

The 24-year-old’s heroism came days after sealing the Iron Ones’ 3-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Europa League.

The former Nigeria U17, U20 and U23 star has had a strong start to the 2021-22 season, with six goals to his name after 10 appearances in all competitions.

“Taiwo Awoniyi called to replace injured Terem Moffi for the World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic. Get well Terem soon, ”read a statement on the Super Eagles social media page.

Last month, Rohr was questioned for not inviting Awoniyi to their first World Cup qualifiers, but he defended the snub with the presence of three center-forwards in the squad.

“There are people who call Awoniyi while there are also those who ask for other players,” Rohr said in September ahead of the games in Liberia and Cape Verde.

“We can only bring three center-forward, we already have [Victor] Osimhen, we have Paul Onuachu, we have [Terem] Moffi who is doing well in Lorient and we even have Kelechi [Iheanacho].

“So which one do you want me to come out to put in Awoniyi?” “

Awoniyi could make his Super Eagles debut on Thursday after Moffi limped out with an injury in Lorient’s 1-1 draw against Clermont on Sunday.

The Ligue 1 star was initially called in to replace injured Everton star Alex Iwobi following Rafael Benitez’s update on Friday.

Watford midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo has also been excluded from matches against CAR and is set to miss the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year after tearing a quadriceps muscle in his knee in a game League match against Newcastle United on September 25. .

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