Nigeria suffered another major blow in their bid to qualify for the 2026 World Cup when they suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Benin yesterday at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny.

Raphael Onyedika opened the scoring for the Nigerian side in the 27th minute but the home side quickly turned things around and scored an equalising goal in the 37th minute and that was followed by Steve Mounie’s winning goal that was scored in the dying minutes of the first half.

The loss against Benin dropped the Afcon 2023 silver-medallists to the fifth position with three points separated by one point from Zimbabwe who are at the bottom of the group with two points.

The Super Eagles have had a lacklustre World Cup qualifying campaign which has seen their winless run stretches to four matches. They opened the qualifiers with a 1-1 draw against Lesotho and that was followed by another 1-1 stalemate in their clash against Zimbabwe.

Following a series of unfavourable results, the West African giants appointed Finidi George as their new head coach and his first match was against South Africa, despite playing on home soil they came from behind to equalise and share points after the match ended 1-1.

Following the disappointing defeat, George called on the Nigerian football faithful not to throw in the towel as there is still a chance to turn things around.

“Everybody must be committed and I believe with commitment we will win games. I believe we are going to win games and if we can win games the battle will still be there.

“We can’t throw in the towel because we’ve had only three points, we have to find a way to get these players back in a way for them to perform.” The coach concluded.

Written by Siphesihle Soni