Equatorial Guinea: 16-year-old Luis Miguel Nlavo included in World Cup qualifying squad

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Emilio Nsue Equatorial Guinea Congo AFCON 2015
The 16-year-old will be a part of the Nzalang Nacional group that will face South Sudan in the Qatar 2022 preliminary encounters

Equatorial Guinea head coach Angel Lopez has named a 25-man squad for their World Cup qualifier against South Sudan, scheduled to take place between September 2 and 10.

The first leg will be in South Sudan, before Lopez’s side host their opponents in the reverse fixture.

A surprise inclusion in the Spanish coach’s team is 16-year-old forward Luis Miguel Nlavo, who plays for home-based club Cano Sport Academy.

The striker has featured for the Equatorial Guinea home-based team, and scored in both legs of their recent 5-4 aggregate win over Chad in the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers.

The 34-year-old centre-back Rui da Gracia Gomes has been dropped from the side, along with midfielder Carlos ‘Charly’ Briones.

Headlining the squad is Pedro Obiang, the former West Ham United player, who joined Italian outfit Sassuolo in July after four years in the Premier League.

Captain of the side Emilio Nsue, who plays for Cyprian side Apollon Limassol, also made the squad. The versatile 29-year-old has top-flight experience with Mallorca in Spain and featured for Championship outfits Middlesbrough and Birmingham City in a four-year spell in England.

Equatorial Guinea are one of the 28 lowest ranked teams playing in next month’s qualifiers, which will feature 14 knockout ties. The winners will be drawn with the 26 ranked nations in the group stage, after they were given a bye into the second round.

Equatorial Guinea squad:

Goalkeepers: Aitor Embela (UD Logrones Promesdas, Spain), Jesus Ngua (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Felipe Ovono (Alelegn Azene, Ethiopia)

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Defenders: Cosme Abene (Unidad Malabo), Marvin Anieboh (Alcorcon, Spain), Vicente Asumu (Cano Sport Academy), Saul Coco, Igor Engonga (both unattached), Diosdado Mbele (Akonangui), Luis Alberto Meseguer (Rayo Vallecano, Spain), Basilo Ndong (FC Shkupi, North Macedonia)

Midfielders: Ruben Belima (Estoril, Portugal), Federico Bikoro (Real Zaragoza, Spain), James Boriko (Iraklis, Greece), Jannick Buyla (Deportivo Aragon, Spain), Santiago Eneme (Nantes, France), Pablo Ganet (Algericas, Spain), Niko Kata (unattached), Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo, Italy)

Forwards: Kike Boula (Ermis Aradippou, Cyprus), Jordan Gutierrez (UA Horta, Spain), Josete Miranda (Getafe, Spain), Luis Miguel Nlavo (Cano Sport Academy), Emilio Nsue (Apollon Limaasol, Cyprus), Iban Salvador (Fuenlabrada, Spain).