Barring injuries and loss of form before the commencement of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations holding in South Africa, SS Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi would surely make the final list of the Super Eagles final squad to the competition.
Ogenyi impressed as a substitute in Eagles’ 6-1 whitewash of Liberia in the last qualifying match for the 2013 Afcon. He replaced Obiora Nwankwo in the 82nd minute of the match and Stephen Keshi and other members of the team’s backroom staff hailed the offensive midfielder’s performance for the brief period he spent in the match.
“The Eagles handler was attracted by the skills and work rate of the player most especially during the training sessions prior to the match against Liberia. He was however dazzled by the boy’s maturity in the heart of the team playing as if he has been in the team for a while. The coach has decided to give him another chance to prove his worth in the team in the Eagles friendly match against Venezuela in the United States of America,” a prominent member of the team revealed to Goal.com before departing to the USA for the match.
“If he continues to play like this the coach has told me in confidence he would shock people by listing him in his final team list for the Afcon. I sincerely believe that Onazi will dazzle in Wednesday’s friendly.”
Onazi and Sani Emmanuel were signed by the Italian club shortly after they helped the Golden Eaglets to the final of the 2009 FIFA U- 17 World Cup. But Onazi has won a place in the first team of Lazio and has featured prominently for the club unlike Emmanuel who is still struggling to make the first team of Lazio.