Nigeria Faces Elimination From 2026 World Cup Qualifier After Another Draw Against Zimbabwe
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By Amaechi Agbo
The prospect of failing to qualify for FIFA World Cup back-to-back looms for Nigeria as the Super Eagles on Sunday came from behind, to again, draw their second qualifying match against Warriors of Zimbabwe, in Rwanda
The Jose Pesiero men had on Thursday played a 1-1 draw with visiting Lesotho in Uyo
Playing the match in Rwanda, Zimbabwe’s adopted home ground for the qualifiers, the Super Eagles conceded in the first half via a 35-yard free kick.
Walter Musona put the Warriors in front after 26 minutes with a 35-yard free-kick that eluded goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and sailed into the net.
The Eagles did not play with the stronger mentality and determination they espoused after the 1-1 draw with Lesotho in Uyo on Thursday, as the Warriors, who played their own game against Rwanda a day earlier and better-rested, showed more hunger and desire for the three points.
Moses Simon’s stout shielding of the ball and good decision in the box allowed Kelechi Iheanacho to slam past the goalkeeper for Nigeria’s equalizer after 67 minutes in Butare.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers resume in June 2024 with Nigeria hosting South Africa, current leaders of Group C, before travelling to an away game against Benin Republic. With the new CAF World Cup qualifying series, Nigeria is expected to play 10 matches and scoop 30 points. With two matches gone, eight matches are left to be decided and the Super Eagles must ensure they don’t drop further points going forward.
Nigeria currently has 2 points from two matches while South Africa, who played just once leads Group C with three points.
It could be recalled that the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cups after playing a 1-1 draw against Ghana in Abua on March 29, 2022 Playoff