Super Eagles pull one back to deny Bafana Bafana

Super Eagles pull one back to deny Bafana Bafana
Teboho Mokoena of South Africa challenged by Fisayo Dele-Bashiru of Nigeria during the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers match between Nigeria and South Africa at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria on 7 June 2024 ©Justina Aniefiok/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Friday Jun 07, 2024. 23:00

Nigeria had to work hard to level matters and settle for a draw against their rivals South Africa in the CAF 2026 World Cup qualifiers at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Friday evening.

The result sees Nigeria and South Africa remain in fifth and fourth spot in the Group C standings, as they both have four points in total, the same number as Benin who are placed third.

The match started off with Nigeria showing that they meant business on home turf as they dominated the first 10 minutes of play. However, the narrative changed after that as Bafana Bafana settled into the game.

By the 29th minute, Themba Zwane gave South Africa the lead after receiving a pass from Sphephelo Sithole and making the most of the chance. They continued to dominate the first half and went into the break a goal ahead.

The second half however did not go Bafana Bafana’s way and they fell behind almost as soon as it began as Fisayo Dele-Bashiru scored the equaliser in the 46th minute. Things began to fall apart for the visitors, however they recovered and managed not to concede another.

The match ended all-square, as both teams showed a real desire to get the win. They were evenly matched, however they had to share the points as Lesotho topped the group following a shock victory over Zimbabwe.

Nigeria (0) 1 (Dele-Bashiru 46’)

South Africa (1) 0 (Zwane 29’)

Nigeria: S. Nwabali, B. Osayi-Samuel, B. Tanimu, S. Ajayi (R. Onyedika 80’), C. Bassey, F. Dele-Bashiru (A. Yusuf 61’), A. Iwobi, O. Ndidi, A. Lookman, K. Iheanacho (S. Chukwueze 67’), P. Onuachu (T. Moffi 80’)

South Africa: R. Williams, A. Modiba, S. Ngezana, I. Rayners (L. Foster 71’), K. Mudau, M. Mvala, T. Mokoena, E. Mokwana (O. Appollis 71’), T. Zwane (B. Aubaas 88’), S. Sithole, P. Tau (T. Morena 79’)

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