Nigeria vs South Africa: Bafana dent Super Eagles’ World Cup hopes

The Super Eagles missed the opportunity to take a giant leap towards qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup due to a spirited performance by Bafana Bafana.

South Africa held the hosts to an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday evening.

The game produced all one could expect, and birthed two great goals. Themba Zwane opened the scoring for the visitors in the 29th minute after being put through by Sphephelo Sithole. Nigeria accepted the challenge and had the equaliser through Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.

Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana: How it happened

The Super Eagles started the game with great gusto, exerting authority on their opponents. They passed the ball around at speed and made Bafana Bafana do plenty of running but failed to score to put the game beyond the South Africans in their best moments of the first half, with their attacking play fizzling out later in the half.

The visitors' defensive organisation was good in the opening minutes of the game making life difficult for the hosts.

Bafana Bafana had a few promising moments and got the opener in the 29th minute, managing the game brilliantly until the first half ended.

The opening minutes of the second half were no different from the first, with the hosts starting strongly.

Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana
Photo by Icon Sport

However, this time they got the equaliser a minute after the interval, courtesy of Dele-Bashiru.

Hugo Broos' charges formed a defensive shape out of possession while ensuring they retained a counter-attacking threat to give their opponents something to think about going the other way.

As Finidi George's men grew increasingly gung-ho as the minutes ticked away, South Africa began to mount increasingly dangerous breaks.

Nigeria in must-win encounter against Benin

The Super Eagles face a crucial clash against Benin on Monday, desperately needing a victory to revive their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification hopes.

The Super Eagles are winless in their last three group games, drawing all three matches, and now find themselves fourth in the group standings. Lesotho currently lead the table with five points, while Benin sit third with four points after a recent win against Rwanda.

The pressure is mounting on Nigeria, as another draw or loss could significantly dent their chances of qualifying to the World Cup. With their attacking prowess yet to fully click, the Super Eagles must find their form and secure all three points against Benin.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as and Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.