WCQ 2026: Super Eagles of Nigeria in tight corner, fails to beat South Africa in Uyo

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By ABIRHIRE THOMAS

Super Eagles of Nigeria mounted more pressure on themselves, when the Nigerian national team failed to defeat South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the race to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Ahead of the match, held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, South South Nigeria, on Friday June 7, 2024, it was clear that the South African side had the aim of beating or drawing with the Super Eagles.

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Unfortunately for the Nigerian side, they played into the Bafana Bafana’s hands as they failed to stamp their authority in the game during the first half.

The Eagles looked completely uncoordinated in the first 45 minutes as they struggled to put passes together, especially in the final third.

As for the Bafana Bafana, they maintained their game plan which was to wait and launch counter-attacks.

The tactics paid off for them in the 29th minute when Themba Zwane opened the scoring for the visitors.

The Bafana Bafana side ended the first half with the slim lead which didn’t last up to one minute in the second half of the encounter.

Turkish-based Nigerian midfielder, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru of Hatayspor scored the equalizer for Nigeria in the 46th minute.

After that, the Super Eagles continued with their uncoordinated display, especially in the opposition’s penalty box as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The draw leaves the Super Eagles in the 5th spot in Group C, a point below 4th placed South Africa and two points below first-placed Lesotho.

As it stands, every game in the qualification series matters for the Super Eagles starting with their next game which is against third-placed Benin Republic in Abidjan on June 10.


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