2026 World Cup Qualifiers: Super Eagles Determined To Beat South Africa, Benin

2026 World Cup Qualifiers: Super Eagles Determined To Beat South Africa, Benin

Chukwu Ikechukwu
May 18, 2024 at 7:15 AM
In this article:
Ola Aina logo
O. Aina
Nottingham Forest logoDNigeria logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Benin logo
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) logo
FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF)
  • Nigeria faces two make or mar games against South Africa and Benin next month
  • The Super Eagles must win both their games to keep their World Cup hopes alive
  • Nigeria find themselves third in their World Cup qualifying group with two points

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Nigeria faces an uphill task to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup after stuttering in their first two games in the qualifying series against Lesotho and Zimbabwe with two draws.

The Super Eagles, who have two points from their first two games, are currently third in Group C behind Rwanda and South Africa with four points apiece on the standings.

Ola Aina, Super Eagles, Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, FIFA, CAF
Ola Aina says the Super Eagles will go for the win against South Africa and Benin in the World Cup qualifiers. Photo by Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

According to BSN Sports, Nottingham Forest defender, Ola Aina, has disclosed that the team would do everything possible to win their next games in the qualifying series as a welcome gift to newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George.

“What is on my mind is to win and progress and also to welcome the new coach. The appointment of the coach (Finidi George) is good for the team and the nation.”

The Super Eagles will host South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on June 7, before travelling to Ivory Coast to take on Benin a few days later.

NFF concerned over Nigeria's injury crisis

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is worried about the wave of injuries presently flooding the Super Eagles camp ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin, The Guardian reports.

Samuel Chukwueze, Bruno Onyemaechi, Tyrone Ebuehi, Moses Simon, and Zaidu Sanusi have all been ruled out of the encounter while Victor Osimhen is still a doubt for the game with a muscle injury.

Nigeria cannot afford to drop points in both games against South Africa and Benin as it could ruin the team’s chances of qualifying for the biggest football competition for the second time in a row.

Napoli downplays Osimhen’s injury scare

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Napoli has given the NFF an update on Osimhen’s injury and has assured the Nigerian striker should be available for the World Cup qualifiers in June.

The 25-year-old forward joined Nigeria’s lengthy injury list after picking up a muscle injury during Napoli’s Serie A game last weekend and could be out of both games.

Osimhen’s injury is not as badly injured as first feared and the Nigerian forward is already undergoing fitness work in the gym to prepare for his comeback in their final game of the season.

Chukwu Ikechukwu photo
Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..