Finidi George Explains How Nigeria Will Beat South Africa in 2026 World Cup Qualifier

Finidi George Explains How Nigeria Will Beat South Africa in 2026 World Cup Qualifier

Edwin Kiplagat
May 24, 2024 at 10:10 AM
In this article:
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South Africa
South Africa
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FIFA World Cup
  • Nigeria tackle South Africa next month in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier
  • The two countries met in the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, explained how they can win that game

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Nigeria welcomes South Africa in a mouth-watering encounter in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Finidi George, the new Super Eagles coach, has laid out a straightforward plan for beating the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalists.

Victor Osimhen, Mothobi Mvala, South Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, AFCON, Jose Peseiro, Hugo Broos, Bafana Bafana, Finidi George
Nigeria's Victor Osimhen fights for the ball with South Africa defenders at the 2023 AFCON. Photo by Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Finidi and Nigeria will be under pressure to deliver positive results, considering they drew their first Group C matches in the qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Finidi was part of Nigeria's coaching staff that led the West Africans to victory against Bafana Bafana in the semi-finals of the 2023 AFCON.

Nigeria needed a penalty shootout to beat the 1996 champions, a formidable team led by Hugo Broos. The Super Eagles, therefore, need a flawless performance to beat South Africa.

The good news for Finidi's team is they are playing on home soil and will be cheered on by tens of thousands of fans. Anything other than a win will be a big blow to Nigeria's 2026 FIFA World Cup chances. The last time they graced the tournament was in 2018.

Finidi's plan for South Africa

Speaking to the media recently, Finidi said his team can easily beat South Africa if their players are fully committed.

“We know it’s a difficult game. We played against South Africa in the concluded AFCON, and we know their capacity. Most of their players play in South Africa, but we know if our players give that 100 per cent that we see them do in Europe, we would not have problems winning that game," via Complete Sport.

The 1994 AFCON winner expects Nigeria's top players from Europe, like Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, and Victor Boniface, to play a key role.

“I believe with the form our players have and the way they are playing in Europe we will definitely have that form for those games. I think we are good to go, and we just pray that we have that luck.”

Nigeria are third in Group C, behind Rwanda and South Africa.

Alloy Agu advises Finidi

Sports Brief earlier reported on former Nigeria international, Alloy Agu, offering his advice to Finidi as he begins his tenure as coach.

Agu urged Finidi to retain most of the players who played at the 2023 AFCON to help ensure continuity and a smooth transition to a new regime.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.