HomeSportsSuper Eagles Draw Against South Africa, World Cup Hopes Fade

Super Eagles Draw Against South Africa, World Cup Hopes Fade

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The Super Eagles’ hopes of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup took another hit after a 1-1 draw against South Africa in Uyo on Friday. This marks their third consecutive draw, placing them in fifth position, while South Africa occupies the fourth spot.

South Africa has now gone three games without losing to the Eagles on home soil. Themba Zwane gave the South Africans the lead before Fisayo Dele-Bashiru equalized for Nigeria in the second half.

Ademola Lookman had a chance to open the scoring in the 8th minute but his shot went over the bar. South Africa countered in the 12th minute, but Benjamin Tanimu made a timely clearance. Zwane blasted a free kick-off target, missing an early opportunity.

Against the run of play, South Africa took the lead in the 29th minute. Zwane received a clever pass, bypassed two defenders, and scored. South Africa nearly doubled their lead ten minutes before halftime, but Nwabali rushed out to snuff the danger before Tanimu cleared the rebound. Elias Mokwana also missed a chance to extend the lead, hitting his effort off-target.

The Eagles started the second half strong. Dele-Bashiru equalized in the 46th minute after receiving a pass from Alex Iwobi. He held off his marker and hit a low shot past Williams. South Africa almost regained the lead in the 58th minute, but Mokwana’s weak strike was well stopped by Nwabali.

An injury forced Nigeria to make a change in the 61st minute, with Alhassan Yusuf replacing Dele-Bashiru. With 20 minutes left, South Africa launched the ball from defense, but Nwabali rushed out to clear the danger.

Bright Osayi-Samuel had a good chance in the 72nd minute, but his shot went straight to the keeper. Percy Tau had a big opportunity in the 74th minute but was thwarted by Nwabali. Samuel Chukwueze almost made it 2-1 for Nigeria, but his effort hit the crossbar.

In added time, Terem Moffi had a one-on-one chance against the South African keeper but failed to score. The draw leaves the Super Eagles with an uphill battle in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Next up for the Eagles is an away trip to Côte d’Ivoire, where they will face third-placed Benin Republic on Monday, June 10. This match will be crucial for Nigeria’s hopes of advancing in the qualifiers.

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