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FIFA World Cup

Kelechi Iheanacho Eager To Play Against Central African Republic On Sunday

By Femi Fasetire

Leicester City of England attacker, Kelechi Iheanacho has indicated his strong desire to be part of the Super Eagles’ squad that will seek redemption against Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday, as he has returned to full team training with the Nigerian team.

Iheanacho had initially been cast in doubt for the match in Douala, Cameroon, following a knock he copped during the first leg at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, which the Eagles lost 1-0, but the UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup most valuable player is determined to play in the reverse fixture.

Such is the zeal of the former Columbus Crew of USA and Manchester City of England lad that Eagles' coach, Gernot Rohr is again looking in the direction of Iheanacho for a spot in the roster for Sunday’s game, after the star trained fully with his teammates during Friday's session.

Although Rohr admitted Iheanacho had to be substituted at half-time of Thursday’s first leg because he suffered an injury in the 34th minute while taking a curling shot, the gaffer has now served an update by confirming that the knock was not serious.

In order to prove that he is ready to play in Douala, Iheanacho had a recovery session less than 24 hours later with the players that started Thursday's game against Les Fauves and Rohr later on instructed him to join those that did not start the match (which will start at 2pm Nigeria time).

All along, Iheanacho trained without inhibition and showed no signs of pain, as he got himself involved in a half-pitch practice match, thereby raising hope for action this Sunday from the left-footed attacker, who scored twice in the Eagles’ 2-0 victory over Liberia at the start of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

It is now left to be seen if Rohr will send the in-form forward right into the fray from the word go on Sunday, as Iheanacho also took active part in the lonesome drills on arrival at mach venue on Saturday.

Iheanacho was spotted in the thick of things, as the Nigerian players had a feel of Douala’s Stade Omnisport de Bepanda shortly after their arrival in Cameroon, with Rohr opting for a behind-closed-doors session, though the first 15 minutes were open to Nigerian journalists.

Rohr said afterwards: "We had a good training session, on this great pitch I think we can do it better than the other day. Everybody knows that now it is necessary to do this victory.

“Three days later we have the opportunity to make good rehabilitation. We need also a good communication between us so we are very confident that will be a good game."

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Eagles Femi Fasetire Gernot Rohr Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City


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