In-form Martins hopes for recall to Nigeria national team

Obafemi Martins
Obafemi Martins

Seattle Sounders striker Obafemi Martins hopes his form in Major League Soccer (MLS) will earn him a Nigeria recall.

Martins again struck in Sounders's 3-2 home victory over Real Salt Lake on Friday night for his 13th goal of the season, and also boasts an impressive nine assists.

The 29-year-old wants to help the club to the MLS title and is hopeful a successful campaign can earn him a Super Eagles recall.

"I said at the start of the season if I was doing well for Seattle and scoring goals, I'd have a chance with Nigeria," he told BBC Sport.

"But firstly, I want to play regularly here and try to help Seattle Sounders win a trophy."

Martins, who has scored 18 goals in 39 international matches for the African Champions, was called up just once last year, against Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

But the former Newcastle United and Birmingham City striker was omitted from the squad for the finals in Brazil by coach Stephen Keshi.

With the Super Eagles struggling for goals and results in their 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, Martins hopes his form has caught Keshi's eye and can earn him a place in the squad for October's double header against Sudan.

"It's the coach's decision to invite players but if I can get a recall to the national team, I'll be honoured," he added.

"I just need to continue my form here in the United States, give my all to this club and let other things happen naturally.

"I love my country and I always want Nigeria to do well with me in the squad or not.

"If I get another chance, great, and if not, I can only wish my country all the best."

Last Saturday Congo Brazzaville produced a shock victory in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, beating Nigeria 3-2 in their Group A match in Calabar.

It is the first time Nigeria have lost a competitive home game in 33 years.

And on Wednesday Nigeria played out a frustrating goalless draw in Cape Town against South Africa, while Congo continued their impressive start to the campaign with a 2-0 win over visiting Sudan.

The results mean Congo top Group A with six points, South Africa are on four while Nigeria have a single point and Sudan none.

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