Super Eagles Fall to Benin Republic in World Cup Qualifiers

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Benin Republic in the fourth round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers on Monday.

The match saw an early lead for Nigeria, with Raphael Onyedika scoring in the 29th minute with a precise shot to the right corner. However, Benin Republic’s Jodel Dossou equalized after capitalizing on a defensive error by the Super Eagles.

Just before halftime, Benin took the lead with a right-footed goal by Steve Mounie, who scored from a corner. Despite the introduction of substitutes Victor Boniface, Paul Onuachu, and Ibrahim Olawoyin, Nigeria failed to find an equalizer in the second half.

Head coach Finidi George initially named Terem Moffi and Ademola Lookman to lead the attack, while Victor Boniface started on the bench. The starting lineup featured Stanley Nwabali as goalkeeper, with Bassey, Tanimu, Ajayi, and Osayi-Samuel in defense. The midfield comprised Ndidi, Onyeka, and Iwobi, while Chukwueze, Lookman, and Moffi spearheaded the attack. The bench included Iheanacho, Boniface, Onuachu, Abdullahi, Dele-Bashiru, Onyeka Awaziem, Olawoyin, Igboke, Ismaila, Okoye (GK), and Ojo (GK).

This defeat places Nigeria fifth in the six-team table, while the Benin Republic rises to first place. The Super Eagles have drawn three and lost one of their four matches so far.

Last Friday, Nigeria faced pressure after a 1-1 draw against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the third round of the qualifiers. The match, held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, saw Themba Zwane score for South Africa in the 29th minute. Nigeria’s Fisayo Dele-Bashiru equalized with a low shot in the 46th minute, but the game ended in a stalemate.

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As the qualifiers progress, the Super Eagles will need to regroup and strategize to improve their standings and keep their World Cup hopes alive.

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