Nigeria’s Super Eagles gain advantage in 2026 World Cup qualifiers as Zimbabwe, Rwanda draw

Nigeria's Super Eagles gain advantage in 2026 World Cup qualifiers as Zimbabwe, Rwanda draw

Ahead of Thursday’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho, the Super Eagles have gained an early advantage following the goalless draw between Rwanda and Zimbabwe, Nigeria’s opponents in Group C on Wednesday.

Nigeria are in Group C of the World Cup qualifiers alongside Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, and Benin Republic.

Due to their superiority and legacy, the Super Eagles are overwhelming favourites to win their encounter against Lesotho today at Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

The Super Eagles will be favourites not only to get the better of the Crocodiles but also to pick the ticket to the Mundial ahead of South Africa, the Benin Republic, Rwanda, and Lesotho.

Nigeria has dominated the matches between these two countries, having won all four games with Lesotho, scoring ten goals and allowing two, while holding three clean sheets.

Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo, and Paul Onuachu scored goals in Nigeria’s decisive 3-0 victory in their final match of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers in the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

Nigeria has scored three goals or more in each of the last two encounters between the two teams, and Nigerians won’t be expecting any less this time around against a team ranked 153rd in the world and are one of a few nations that have never qualified for the AFCON.

Since the early 2000s, the South African nation has only won two of its twenty-two World Cup qualifying campaigns. If they win today, they would have achieved one of their greatest ever feats.

However, under Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro, the three-time African champions have had inconsistent results.

Under the former Sporting Lisbon boss, Nigeria lost six of eight friendlies yet easily qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Eagles won five matches and lost one, a dismal home setback to Guinea-Bissau, scoring a continent-high 22 goals with Victor Osimhen emerging top scorer with ten goals.

After beating Sao Tome and Principe 6-0 to round off that AFCON qualification campaign, Nigeria drew with Saudi Arabia and defeated Mozambique in friendlies last month in preparation for this game.

That run takes Nigeria to five games without a defeat and puts the team in a positive momentum against one of Africa’s last remaining minnows.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the World Cup last year but Jose Peseiro will be seeking to lead the country to finish the qualification process as quickly as possible in order to book their flight to the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 2026.

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