WC Qualification Africa

2022 World Cup qualifiers: Union Berlin star Awoniyi replaces Lorient's Moffi in Nigeria squad

23:04 EAT 03/10/2021
Taiwo Awoniyi of Union Berlin.
The 24-year-old has been rewarded for his impressive goalscoring run in the Bundesliga with an invitation to Gernot Rohr's squad

Nigeria have summoned Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi to replace injured Terem Moffi for their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches Central African Republic.

The Super Eagles are scheduled to battle Raoul Savoy’s men on Thursday in Lagos before they travel to Douala for the return fixture, three days later.

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

The 24-year-old heroics came a few days after he sealed the Iron Ones' 3-0 victory Maccabi Haifa in the Uefa Europa Conference League.

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

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

Last month, Rohr was queried for not inviting Awoniyi for their opening World Cup qualifiers, but he defended the snub with the presence of three centre forwards in the team.

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

“We can only bring three centre forwards, we have already [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 bring out to put in Awoniyi?”

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

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

Watford midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo has also been ruled out of the fixtures against CAR and he is set to miss the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year after he tore a quadriceps muscle on his knee in a Premier League outing against Newcastle United on September 25.