Nigeria’s Super Eagles Face Crucial World Cup Qualifier Against South Africa

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By  Milcah   Tanimu

The Super Eagles of Nigeria are under increased pressure as they head into their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Africa tonight, having dropped to 4th place in Group C. Previously, Nigeria held the 3rd spot after drawing their first two qualification matches, 1-1 against Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

On Thursday, June 6, 2024, the Benin Republic upset first-placed Rwanda with a 1-0 victory at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, propelling them to 2nd place with four points from three games. Rwanda remains in first place, also with four points, due to goal difference. Consequently, South Africa, initially in second place, has fallen to third, while the Super Eagles have slipped to fourth out of six teams.

This scenario heightens the importance of tonight’s clash between Nigeria and South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, scheduled for 8 p.m. Nigeria must secure a win to climb to the top of Group C, contingent on the outcome of the match between Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

A loss for Nigeria would significantly jeopardize their chances of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as they would then need to rely on the performance of other teams in addition to winning their remaining matches.

Following tonight’s match, coach Finidi George and his squad will travel to Ivory Coast to face Benin Republic on June 10 for their fourth qualification game. Concurrently, South Africa will play against Zimbabwe on June 11.

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