By Olopade Sakiru

It's going to be a rat race for the Super Eagles in the ongoing 2026 World Cup qualifiers in group C , as Finidi George's men ended the encounter against their arch rivals, Bafana Bafana of South Africa in a 1-1 draw at the Godswill Akpabio stadium, Uyo , Akwa Ibom state capital.

It was an acid test for coach Finidi George , being his first competitive match as the Super Eagles manager.

The visitors had a good game in first half, dominating proceedings, cutting through the defense of the Super Eagles like hot knife cutting through the butter but thanks to Stanley Nwabali who once again proved his agility and consistency with superb save
However, in the 29th minute, Themba Zwane broke the deadlock with a beautiful strike that silenced the whole arena.

Thereafter, the Super Eagles woke up from their slumber with flashes of brilliance from Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi but the South African goalie, Ronwen Williams was like a rock of Gibraltar, ensuring that the first half ended in favour of Bafana Bafana.
The Godswill Akpabio stadium was electrified few seconds to the start of the second half as Fisayo Dele Bashiru levelled scores with a screamer that ended at the back of the net, after receiving a telegraphic pass from Alex Iwobi.
The Super Eagles turned the heat on the Bafana Bafana, desperately searching for the second goal.
The introduction of fast winger, Samuel Chukwueze added pep to the Super Eagles attack, with Ademola Lookman Alex Iwobi and Dele Bashiru probing deep into the heart of the defense of the visitors.

As the match was reaching the feverish end, Super Eagles continued to mount pressure on the South Africans but the Super Eagles was unlucky not to have found the back of the net as Chukwueze hit the cross bar, close misses by Terem Moffi who replaced Paul Onuachu, Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi.

Nigeria, playing three matches so far, drawing all the three, leaving them with just three points.
Nigeria will travel to Abidjan to face the third-placed Benin Republic on June 10 while South Africa will square  up against Zimbabwe in their next group C match.

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