• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Adepoju confident Super Eagles can qualify for 2026 World Cup

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Former international Mutiu Adepoju believes the Super Eagles of Nigeria can still qualify for the 2026 World Cup despite a shaky start, provided the team shows determination.

In a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the former Super Eagles midfielder emphasised that the players must be resilient and focus on winning all their remaining six matches to qualify for the biggest football event.

“First, the players need to stay calm, unite, and commit to winning all the upcoming matches,” Adepoju said.

“The team needs to focus and find a way to move forward and qualify for the next tournament.”

The Super Eagles began their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw at home against Lesotho, followed by another 1-1 draw away to Zimbabwe last November under former manager Jose Peseiro.

In the June qualifiers under the leadership of Finidi George, the three-time African champions played a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Uyo and lost 2-1 away to Benin Republic.

These results leave Nigeria with three points and in fifth position in Group C, with Rwanda, South Africa, and the Benin Republic topping the table with seven points, while Lesotho, with five points, occupies fourth place in the group.

The 53-year-old former Real Madrid player urged the Super Eagles to play with unity and patriotism in their remaining matches, avoiding division in the camp. He also called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to provide the necessary support to motivate the players.

“The NFF needs to act swiftly to unite the players and bring out their best for the next World Cup,” Adepoju added.

The NFF recently announced plans to hire of a foreign coach to replace Finidi, who resigned earlier this month.
The next round of qualifiers is scheduled for March 2025, with the Super Eagles set to travel to Kigali to face Group C leaders Rwanda on March 17 and host Zimbabwe a week later.