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Nigeria 1-1 S/Africa: Super Eagles Remain Winless with Third Consecutive Draw in World Cup Qualifiers

Nigeria are fifth in a six-team group but can climb the table with victory against neighbours Benin in Abidjan, Monday.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles played a 1-1 draw against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the third match of their 2026 World Cup qualification encounter. 

Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s strike in the first minute of the second half earned the team a point after going behind to South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio stadium on Friday.

The match was the first competitive game with Finidi George as the head coach of the Eagles.

The coach opted for Stanley Nwabali in goal behind the defensive four of Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Tanimu Benjamin.

Wilfred Ndidi marshalled the team in midfield alongside Alex Iwobi and Dele-Bashiru, while Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman led the attack.

 Despite what looked like a strong enough side, bar the eyebrow-raising omission of Victor Boniface, the Eagles looked lethargic in the first half and it was no surprise when South Africa took the lead in the 29th minute.

Themba Zwane drove into the Nigerian penalty box after a brilliant pass before waltzing through to smash the ball into the net beyond Nwabali.

Bafana Bafana looked better until the halftime break when the Eagles emerged as an improved side.

Immediately after the restart, Nigeria got the equaliser after Dele-Bashiru swivelled beyond Mothobi Mvala on the edge of the South African goal area and slotted his shot past Ronwen Williams.

Nigeria remain winless after three games of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The Eagle drew Lesotho and Zimbabwe last year. The team sits fifth on the log with three points.

They will play the Benin Republic, their fourth game of the campaign, in Abidjan on Monday.

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