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Finidi George

2026 WC qualifier: South Africa hold Super  Eagles to 1-1 draw in Uyo

By Muhyideen Jimoh/Isaiah Eka
Abuja, June 7,  2024
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw by Bafana Bafana of South Africa in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers matchday three at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles have now drawn their three consecutive games and are in fifth place while South Africa sit in the fourth spot.
The lackluster Super Eagles had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against their more adventurous opponents from South Africa.
Bafana Bafana took the lead in the 29th minute of the first half through Themba Zwane who dazzled past the Nigerian defence to send the ball beyond the hapless Stanley Nwabali in Nigerian goal.
On resumption of play in the second half, Dele Bashiru came to the rescue in the 46th minute with an equaliser and got Nigeria back into the game.
Speaking after the match, Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George said that his players approached the first half of the match in a sloppy manner that did not produce a goal.
George said the draw is not good enough for the team as they have three points from  three matches.
He, however, assured fans that the team will strategise to ensure victory in the next group match.
“I think we got into  the game a little bit sloppy, but we picked up in the second half.
“Overall, it was not a bad second half, but I felt we should have entered the game in the early minutes of play. It is not the result we expected.
“A draw is not too good, but we will strategise to win the next game. We will remain focused in our next match to win.
“We want to qualify and we will do everything to ensure we win,” George said.
On his part, the Bafana Bafana Coach, Hugo Broos, said he was very proud of his players for holding the Super Eagles to a draw.
Broos said his boys played good football and did not disappoint him and the country, stressing that the result was good for his team.
He, however said that the Super Eagles was a big opponent in the group as they have good players.
“For us, we are very happy with the outcome of the match. I can only be proud of my players, who played good football today.
“I think the result is correct and good,” Broos said.

The result means that the Super Eagles remain winless in three games in their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign and are now in a precarious situation to qualify for the World Cup.

The Super Eagles will face third placed Benin Republic on Monday in Cote D’Ivoire, as they seek to get their campaign back on track.

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