Galatasary forward Henry Onyekuru has been called up from the standby list to replace Odion Ighalo ahead of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa on November 17.
Ighalo sustained an injury on Wednesday while playing for Changchun Yatai against Tianjin Quanjian in the Chinese Super League, and will now sit out the Super Eagles’ meeting against Bafana Bafana, having missed out on the reverse fixture in similar circumstances.
Ighalo’s withdrawal is the second in three days after goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was injured while playing for Elche in the Spanish Second Division on Sunday.
Theophilous Afelokhai from seven-time Nigeria league champions Enyimba was handed a call-up to replace the 20-year-old first-choice goalkeeper.
Ighalo was Nigeria’s hero in October, netting five goals in a double-header win against Libya, a result which promoted a change in fortunes from third to first place in Group E for the three-time African champions.
His absence comes as a massive blow to the plans of Gernot Rohr, who will hope the talented, but largely untested Onyekuru, can step up and play a leading role in Johannesburg.