Tykes hero Odejayi called up by Nigeria

April 24, 2008

LAGOS, April 24 (Reuters) - Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi was named in Nigeria's 26-man squad on Thursday for next month's friendly with Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria and a World Cup qualifier against South Africa in June.

Defenders Elderson Echiejile of French club Stade Rennes and Sudan-based Yusuf Mohamed were also called up for the first time, said the Nigerian Football Association.

Odejayi's first callup follows his involvement in Championship side Barnsley's giant-killing run to the English FA Cup semi-finals.

He scored the only goal in the quarter-final win at home to Chelsea.

The Nigeria squad was selected by Shaibu Amodu, who took over as coach earlier this month. Nigeria play Austria in Vienna on May 27 and host South Africa in Abuja on June 1.

Hosts South Africa are already assured of a place at the 2010 World Cup but the qualifying tournament also doubles as a qualifying event for the 2010 African Nations Cup.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda), Austin Ejide (Bastia), Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv)

Defenders: Onyekachi Apam (Nice), Elderson Echiejile (Stade Rennes), Yusuf Mohamed (Al Hilal), Obinna Nwaneri (FC Sion), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow), Danny Shittu (Watford), Taye Taiwo (Olympique Marseille), Joseph Yobo (Everton)

Midfielders: Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev), Uche Kalu (Almeria), Haruna Lukman (Monaco), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Seyi Olofinjana (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ike Uche (Getafe)

Forwards: Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Victor Anichebe (both Everton), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth), Obafemi Martins (Newcastle United), Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona), Peter Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow), Kayode Odejayi (Barnsley), Emmanuel Okoduwa (Westerlo), John Utaka (Portsmouth).