World Cup Qualifier: Super Eagles Fail To Fly Above South Africa

By: Gyang Dakwo

The Super Eagles of Nigeria played a 1-1 draw against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the first leg of their 2026 World Cup qualification encounter.

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

Themba Zwane of South Africa opened the scoresheet in the 29th minute of the match played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Equalising after a superb turn, Nigeria’s Fisayo Dele-Bashiru slotted in a low shot to the edge of the post in the 46th minute.

Nigeria had other chances which were frustrated by the solid South African back line and so the game ended in a stalemate.

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

It is Nigeria’s third consecutive draw in the qualifiers. They sit fifth in Group C with three points.

The Eagles will now travel to Abidjan to face third-placed Benin on Monday.

The group winners automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and United States while the four best-ranked runners-up go into play-offs and winners enter an inter-continental tournament where six nations will compete for two places.