Obafemi Martins: Striker wins first Nigeria call-up in over two years

Obafemi Martins 

 Striker Obafemi Martins has won his first Nigeria call-up since March 2013 after being named in the squad to face Swaziland in a World Cup qualifier.

Martins admitted he was surprised to be in coach Sunday Oliseh's 23-man group for the two-legged tie, which will be played on 13 and 17 November.

The 31-year-old told BBC Sport: "It was a bit of a shock, but a nice shock.

"I'm very happy, because I have always worked hard, supported and respected all the players picked by the coaches."

Martins was last called up by Nigeria in March 2013 for a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kenya.

Despite being his country's most in-form striker last year, alongside Ikechukwu Uche, he was omitted from the Brazil 2014 squad.

However his good form has continued this season - he has struck 15 goals for MLS side Seatlle Sounders - and Martins is determined to make the most of his Super Eagles recall.

"I thank coach Oliseh for this great opportunity. I'm just looking forward to going out there and playing for Nigeria again," he said.

Another player returning to the international fold is Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, who missed Nigeria's last competitive game against Tanzania in September due to suspension.

Former Nigeria international Oliseh has also kept faith in English Premier League trio of John Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi.

But there is no place in the squad for West Ham's Victor Moses, who pulled out of Nigeria's friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon two weeks ago.

Swaziland will host the first leg of the World Cup qualifier in Lobamba, with the return leg at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.

The winner will advance to the final group phase to decide Africa's five representatives at the tournament in Russia.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Dele Alampasu (Club de Sportivo Feirense, Portugal)

Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Kalu Orji (Enugu Rangers FC); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Chima Akas (Sharks FC); Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz, Germany); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Paul Onobi (Sunshine Stars); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Rabiu Ibrahim (AS Trencin, Slovakia); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium); Sylvester Igbonu (FC UFA, Russia)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders, USA) 

Source: BBC Sports

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