2026 FIFA WCQ: Ndidi fancies Super Eagles’ chances against Benin

Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi asserts that the team will perform better in their next game against the Squirrels of Benin when the two teams meet at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Nigeria had to come from a goal down in Uyo against South Africa to earn a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw, further denting their World Cup aspirations.

Wilfred Nididi praises ‘humble’ Finidi George, declares war on South Africa, Benin
Photo by Icon Sport

Themba Zwane put Bafana Bafana ahead in the 26th minute before Fisayo-Dele Bashiru, making his first home and competitive start for the Super Eagles, scored in the 46th minute to earn Nigeria a share of the spoils.

As Nigeria head to Abidjan to face Benin on Matchday 4 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series, Ndidi believes his team will put up a good game.

Wilfred Ndidi believes Eagles will be better against Benin

“For us, approaching the second game [against Benin], this is like an eye-opener because the second half was great,” he said.

“If we can approach Benin the way we played in the second half, I think we are going to get something in the second game.

“We started the game a little bit sloppy in the first half and we did not create much, but immediately after we scored the goal, we took over the game.

“They [South Africa] threatened a little bit with shots, but we also had all the chances to win it. Overall, it was not a bad second half from the us.

“Yes, in the first half, I felt we should have done a little better or entered the game a little bit quicker. We conceded that goal, but the players reacted very well in the second half.

Wilfred Ndidi
Photo by Icon Sport

“It was not the result we wanted, but a draw is better than losing. We will see how we are going to win the next match,” the 27 year-old said

Ndidi also called on Nigerians to support the team as the qualification series continues, stressing that many teams are wary of playing the Super Eagles and it won’t be an easy task.

We will not win all games

He said the mentality of the players is to always win, but the team will not always win games just because it is the Super Eagles.

“Because we are Nigerians does not mean we will beat everybody. Yes, we want to qualify for the World Cup, but it depends on how we approach the games,” Ndidi said after the game.

“I think the group is still open and the way we go in the other games determines where we are and how far we go.

“If we want to qualify for the World Cup, we have to take the next game seriously, and those games can give us more points to be top of the table,” he concluded.

Nigeria are now fifth on the table in Group C of the Africa zone qualifiers after three rounds of games.

Lesotho are the new group leaders with five points, closely followed by Rwanda with four points, while Benin, South Africa, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe make up the rest of the lineup.

2026 FIFA WCQ: Ndidi fancies Super Eagles’ chances against Benin
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)