Athiu named in South Sudan squad for qualifiers

Melbourne Victory striker Kenny Athiu has been named in South Sudan's squad for upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers against Equatorial Guinea.

Athiu, 27, could make his international debut if he features in either game on Thursday or Monday (AEST).

The two-legged tie marks the first round of CAF qualifying, with South Sudan hosting the opener in Omdurman at midnight AEST on Thursday.

Athiu has scored three goals for Victory during pre-season wins over Dandenong City (4-0), Oakleigh Cannons (3-0) and Port Melbourne (5-1).

Victory continues its pre-season with a clash against Dandenong Thunder at George Andrews Reserve on Friday.

Athiu is one of three Victory players on international duty.

Birkan Kirdar, 17, is away with the Joeys for friendlies against England, South Korea and Brazil ahead of this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Defender Thomas Deng, meanwhile, is with the Olyroos for two matches against New Zealand in New South Wales, as they look ahead to the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship, which will act as qualifying for next year's Olympics.