• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Finidi blames players for Super Eagles’ defeat to Benin

Finidi-George-new (3)

Embattled Super Eagles coach Finidi George has attributed the team’s dismal performance in their shocking defeat to Benin Republic to lack of commitment from the players.

The match, played on Monday as part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, saw Gernot Rohr’s Benin Republic side secure a surprising 2-1 victory over Nigeria’s Super Eagles at Stade Felix-Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

This defeat leaves Nigeria winless after four matches, sitting in fifth place in Group C with just three points. The result comes on the heels of a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday.

The loss to Benin marks Nigeria’s first defeat to the lower-ranked team, further jeopardizing their hopes of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, set to be hosted by the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

In his post-match briefing, Finidi, who has managed to secure only one point in two competitive matches since taking charge of the Super Eagles, criticized the players for their lack of commitment.

He stated, “It’s to win, but there’s no special formula for that. We have to see how the players will start the new season and see how we can get the best out of them.”

He emphasised the need for total commitment from the players to secure victories, adding, “Everybody must be committed. With that commitment, we’ll win games. I believe we’re going to win games and if we can win games, the battle will still be there.”

Despite the setback, the former Enyimba coach urged Nigerians not to lose hope, assuring them that the team’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup are still alive.

“We cannot throw in the towel because we have only three points. We have to find a way to get these players back in a way for them to perform.”

The Super Eagles are condemned to winning all their remaining six games of the qualification series to have any chance of reaching the finals in Canada, USA and Mexico.