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2026 WCQ: Draw With South Africa Won’t Derail Super Eagles’ 2026 World Cup Dream –Ndidi

2026 WCQ: Draw With South Africa Won’t Derail Super Eagles’ 2026 World Cup Dream  –Ndidi

Super Eagles stand-in Captain, Wilfred Ndidi, has been pacifying Nigeria fans who are dismayed by the national team’s 1-1 draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Uyo, reiterating that the result, though painful, will not derail Nigeria’s dream of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals, Completesports.com reports.

The Leicester City midfielder says the 1-1 draw which has potentially put Super Eagles chances of qualifying from Group C of the elimination series in jeopardy, has reawakened the team’s consciousness to the reality that they must ‘fight’ to earn their place in the 2026 World Cup party.

“That’s the truth, every team wants to be at the World Cup and are working real hard to get the ticket” Ndidi said after the Friday night’s match in Uyo.

Also Read: Broos Hails Bafana Bafana’s Mentality Vs Super Eagles Want VAR In W/Cup Qualifiers

“We want to be at the World Cup. Other countries also want to be there. So, that makes the games interesting and competitive.

“But truth is, we’ll get over this disappointment. This result won’t derail our World Cup ambition. Our back is against the wall now but we can only bounce back.”

Ndidi added: “We have to make up in the subsequent games. We’ve put this one behind and won’t allow it weigh us down.

“But fact is that no game is easy these days. There’re no small teams in the game any more. So, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and make up for this draw in subsequent games.”

By Sab Osuji in Uyo

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  • Coache 1 week ago

    It is not yet over until it is over. 7 more games to go. I wish the team well but Gernot Rohr will make life difficult for you guys.

    You guys are afraid of taking on defenders in the final third. A PLAYER from the South African league dribbled convincingly in our 18 yard box and scored a brilliant goal.

    Thank God Bashiru replied with the same spirit. We need such boldness going forward and team spirit not selfishness.

  • Angrycitizen 1 week ago

    Dele Bashiru was the only player that demonstrated physicality, strength and hungriness  in that game, despite the fact that we had players who plays in the English league where physical fitness is a requirement. I am highly disappointed, we gat to move to the next chapter. If the players aint showing any seriousness that they really  need to be in the world Cup, who are mine? I am disappointed in Finidi too, his body language doesn’t look  like a coach who the players respect, he need to step feet on the ground and put is big boy pants on. imagine Homebase South African player holding our foreign base, who plays competitive football week in week out were held hostage by South African local base lol. we may as well just select our players from NPFL.  The South African guys reminds me of the Super eagles 94 players. 

    The Super eagles players I saw yesterday, lack disciple. its high time the Governments or NFF stop playing politics with our sports. all those boys truly do not know the importance of that match, our important it is to Nigerians, it high time we start playing all our home games in the heart of Nigeria, which is Lagos. I believe if our matches are played in Lagos there will be some kind of seriousness in the players attitude, knowing the Lagos Fans are crazy. Imagine a whole Nigeria has no traditional home ground for National team matches. Despicable. 
    first timer on this platform .

  • Nigerian boat to the world cup is sinking either the Nff look for help for Finidi ( the should ask him what he beeds) or the boat will completly sink. This nff is every stingy l don’t know what the are doing with the money if the don’t have they should ask de fedral goverment for help

  • Am happy Finidi is feeling the heat, I think he should be advised to be diplomatic in his response to criticism, he must come to terms with the expectation of the people saying nobody can tell him when to substitute players in the face of flying emotion is to be courting fans anger.
    The game of soccer is ‘e day play e dey show” when you make smart changes people will know even if you don’t win, they will still appreciate your call when emotion I calm.
    Truth be told Finidi your substitution timing especially when we needed more strength upfront was faulty, you needed to have admitted it instead of giving excuses, although your choice of Onuachu was a smart move, considering his languid style and his physique against small-sized south African defenders, his ineffectiveness is not his lack of quality to score but his type of player like Late Rashidi Yekinni needed good supply to function effectively even the you tube commentator observed it.
    In the days of Yekinni anytime eagles failed to fly, it was him that usually bore the strolling from soccer loving Nigeria cos of his height and the weight of expectation, same is happening to Onuachu,even though Lookman and KELECHI contributed to the lacklustre performance of the team.
    Back to Finidi, he defended his late calls by saying those who play draft do not see as much as spectators, I said yes it is true but a smart coach should solicit his colleagues support, by getting text messages during water break and half time., they see more from the spectators side, Finidi should be smart ABEG this is my 50cent

  • Angrycitizen 1 week ago

    I agree with you Cyril Kasim, his timing for the  substitution was very late when they needed fresh legs. Onuachu in my opinion really couldn’t do much because our so call wingers do not cross any balls on time, no crossing from both the left flank or right flank. damn shame. I just do not understand what Finidi was thinking by making changes in the 80th Mininutes of the game, when the eagles needed a win.

  • Omo9ja 1 week ago

    Well, I don’t think it is over yet but we have to tell ourselves the bitter truth.

    At first, no matter what, I will say the truth because nobody is bigger than Nigeria.

    All blame should go to Finidi. He made so much mistakes in yesterday’s match and didn’t react quickly when things were not going the way he wanted.

    Lookman, Naco and Onuachu were the causes
    of not winning the yesterday match against South Africa.

    Finidi should be bold enough to make it known to his selfish players to play with the team and when there’s a chance to make a mark as a key player the player can go for it once or twice and if that doesn’t work out then play with the team but Lookman did not do so instead, he continues wasting the opportunities he had.

    Lookman and other players should learn from Messi.

    On what basis Finidi chooses his main striker?

    I was expecting Moffi or Boniface to lead the team as the main striker but to my surprise, Onuachu played 80 minutes of the match. What happened? I have no answer to that question. Only Finidi can answer that.

    Onuachu is good at late hours of the match. We saw his impacts at the last afcon.

    As I have said before, late subs may be Finidi’s downfall if cares is not taken.

    I hope the gaffer have learned his lessons in yesterday match.

    He should field the inform players and he should use his players in their traditional positions.

    If Finidi could change all of these things against Benin, Super Eagles would be hard to beat.

    Based on what I saw in yesterday against South Africa, Finidi didn’t do badly but he must be bold enough to make his own decisions.

    If Finidi have to bench Lookman if he refuses to change his selfish play, he should make an early sub for Lookman or any player that don’t play according to his instructions.

    Benin shouldn’t be a threat to Eagles. Based on Oga Rohr statistics, no cause for alarm.

    Six draws, three losses and one win so far for Oga Rohr, going by these statistics, Nigeria should beat Benin convincingly on Monday.

    Only Finidi can failed Finidi if he refuses to change the way he approaches his first match against the South Africans.

    I preferred Amunike to Finidi but NFF opted for Finidi which I did not support the idea at first but after gotten his assistant coaches, I changed my mind.

    Going by what Finidi was able to achieved in the second half of the match yesterday, I believe to see a better performance against Benin.

    Hmmm. Remember my people, Rome wasn’t built in a day kę. Let’s support our own.

    Fellow Nigerians, put your minds at rest. Ęlọfọganbalę. It is not over until it is over kę. I’m expecting Eagles to go all out against Oga Rohr’s team next week. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Jide Dola 6 days ago

    You saying Onuachu not supposed to start, wonder shall never end. Actually that’s a big lie,and hypocrisy at its peak I know you would be happy when you saw Onuachu in the first eleven but it seems what we’ve been saying about him not effective play out but you’re trying to cover up as usual.

    You are here saying he’s good as late sub. So, you mean you will introduce Onuachu when you’re one goal down or when it is one all or what.

    Some of you fans just have to wakeup from your slumber, if that guy play 100 matches for Eagle, hardly will he get 2 to 3 goals plus he’s way of play is like he’s playing against the team

    Meanwhile, my takeaway from the match.
    Second half was not bad, may be if we had played in first half the way we played in second half may be we would’ve won the match, that want to make me to excuse the coach from my criticism for now but when I think of how he start onuochu ahead of Boniface, I couldn’t comprehend that.
    So his order of strikers is
    When it’s supposed to be vise versa.

    What would Boniface have brought to the team
    Boniface is a team player, he can drop to play with the team effectively which by so doing will give Lookman a lot of space to penetrate.

    Secondly, Dele-Bashiru, Iwobi and Oyendika were the real G in that match. The game totally changed when Oyendika came in. I saw Ndidi struggled but Oyedinka came in and cemented that middle. In that match I realized that Oyendika is both marker and user of ball. I came to realize why AC Milan wanted him.

    And also Dele-Bashiru has all that it takes to become a very good midfielder, the guy is a 21st century midfielder due to his decisiveness and cleverness.

    Then, Iwobi, people were shouting Iwobi head during afcon but what do you think Iwobi can do when you’re using 2 midfielders. Iwobinis not a player that can play that kind of patern. That means you’re expecting him to be pursuing players and still use ball effectively, guy ain’t get that kind of strength. That’s why someone like Onyeka that is built for that kind of strength will outshine him.

    So, at this time, this level, end should come to our cry for midfielders bcos we have options now good ones and they can complement themselves well in a three midfielders formation.
    Onyeka came alive at afcon. Alhassan was discovered at afcon which means we have good midfielders now. If we can get one more 10 it will solidify the middle of the park. In another word no couch has any excuse not to qualify the team for major competition.

    Then, one other thing is the way we set up in our defense. We were leaving a lot of space behind for opponent to operate plus we were not going fully when we are marking the opponent, we were doing what we call shadow marking which is not a good way to mark bcos you are giving opponent opportunity to think or see his team mates well to make passes.

    In conclusion, if Finidi can improve on what we played in second half and try to use players that will help the team, qualifying shouldn’t be a difficult thing.
    And I will like Oyendika to start ahead of Ndisi if Ajayi should return to defence.
    I believe the trio of Onyendika, Iwobi and Dele-Bashiru will do well and hopefully he will return for our next match.

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