• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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2026 World Cup Qualifier: Poor Super Eagles held by Bafana Bafana in Uyo

NGR-RSA

The Super Eagles of Nigeria endured a disappointing night as they were held to a 1-1 draw by South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Friday.

Themba Zwane opened the scoring for the visitors with a superb strike in the 29th minute, giving South Africa a first-half lead against the three-time African champions.

Nigeria’s Fisayo Dele-Bashiru equalized in the second half, scoring his second goal for the national team to cancel out Zwane’s opener. Despite several opportunities, the Super Eagles were unable to secure a victory, leaving fans and players frustrated.

Bafana Bafana executed a solid team effort, stretching Nigeria’s defense from midfield and maintaining pressure throughout the match.

This result puts South Africa in fourth place in Group C with four points from three matches, while Nigeria sits in fifth place with three points from the same number of games.

Group C is currently led by surprise leaders Lesotho, followed by Rwanda and Benin, with Nigeria and Zimbabwe at the bottom.

This match marked Finidi George’s first major competitive outing since becoming the head coach of the Super Eagles in May.

He fielded a lineup featuring Stanley Nwabali; Semi Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, Benjamin Taminu, Bright Osayi-Samuel; Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru; Ademola Lookman, Paul Onuachu, and Kelechi Iheanacho.
Nigeria, playing at home, was expected to secure all three points.

However, South Africa dominated the early minutes of the first half, nearly scoring on multiple occasions, thanks to Stanley Nwabali’s composure and confidence in goal for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles struggled with precision and cohesion, failing to impress despite their home advantage. South Africa’s persistent pressure paid off with Zwane’s goal.

Hugo Broos’ team now looks forward to climbing the group standings as they host Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Bafana Bafana arrived in Nigeria with positive memories of Uyo, having previously secured a 2-0 victory over the Super Eagles during a 2019 AFCON qualifier under Stuart Baxter and a 2-2 draw under Shakes Mashaba.