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Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles Coach

How Nigeria escaped defeat at home by Lesotho in 2026 World Cup qualification opener

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were on Thursday, November 16 held at home to a 1-1 draw vs Lesotho in their 2026 World Cup qualification opening game at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

That result represents a stuttering start to the qualification series for the Super Eagles of Nigeria who were favourites to win but met stiff resistance from the visiting Crocodiles of Lesotho.

Three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria dominated every facet of the match but were unlucky with decisions in attack in the absence of Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen who missed the match as a result of injury.

Nottingham Forest forward, Taiwo Awoniyi missed from an empty post for what was the best chance of the first half as the Eagles pressed for goals.

In the 56th minute, the Crocodiles of Lesotho took a shock lead off a Motlomelo Mkhawanazi goal to silence the home supporters and spark pressure from the stunned Eagles.

Nigeria’s pressure yielded fruit in the 67th minute, when Semi Ajayi headed in from a Kelechi Iheanacho corner-kick to level scores at 1-1 and give Jose Peseiro’s Eagles hope of a victory.

Nigeria piled pressure but a disciplined Lesotho team fought hard to hold their unlucky hosts to a 1-1 draw at the expiration of regulation time at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The Super Eagles will continue the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers vs Zimbabwe on November 19, at the Huye Stadium in Butare.

Nigeria will hope to pick maximum points vs the Warriors of Zimbabwe to revive their aspiration of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

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