Ezenwa to start for Nigeria vs. Cameroon, confirms Rohr

Ikechukwu Ezenwa has traditionally been the lone local call up. Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Gernot Rohr has confirmed that FC Ifeanyi Ubah goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa will start between the posts for Nigeria in Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon.

Ezenwa has typically been second choice behind Carl Ikeme since the Wolverhampton Wanderers man replaced Vincent Enyeama as Nigeria's number one, but was overlooked in favour of Daniel Akpeyi when Ikeme pulled out injured from the squad to play Algeria earlier this year.

Akpeyi kept his place after that game, but was hammered for a shaky performance in Nigeria's 2-0 Afcon qualifier loss to South Africa in June.

The Chippa United goalkeeper was called up for this two-legged fixture against Cameroon with Ikeme ruled out after being diagnosed with leukaemia in July, but coach Rohr confirmed Akpeyi had picked up an injury, paving the way for Ezenwa to start.

"It is unfortunate now that we have a problem in the goalkeeping side with three goalkeepers out," Rohr told the media on Wednesday, "but Ikechukwu Ezenwa will be in goal for us, and I am confident that he will do a good job.

"We will support him, and the players will support him to make a good game."

Ezenwa is ready for the challenge: "I have been in this team for two years now, and I have understudied Carl Ikeme and Daniel Akpeyi," the stopper said, "so I am ready to give my best to help us win on Friday."