2026 WCQ: Nigeria faces South Africa in a Crucial 'MUST WIN MATCH'

2026 WCQ: Nigeria faces South Africa in a Crucial ‘MUST WIN MATCH’

by Victor Ndubuisi

At the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will play the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday in a critical 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

In order for South Africa and Nigeria to maintain their places in Group C, the game is crucial.

Currently, Finidi George’s team is tied for third place in Group C with two points from two games following draws with Zimbabwe and Lesotho, respectively.

With four points, Rwanda leads the group; South Africa is in second place with three points.

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Benin, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho complete the group.

Nigeria sees this game as a chance to win their first group stage game, which is essential if they want to secure direct qualification for the World Cup or at least a chance to compete in the inter-confederation playoffs.

Not only would a win increase their score, but it would also give them more confidence and morale going forward.

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semifinal match between Nigeria and South Africa took place in Ivory Coast this year, marking their most recent meeting.

After a 1-1 draw, the Super Eagles overcame South Africa 4-2 in a penalty shootout.

According to Anaedoonline.ng, Nigeria wants to solidify their dominance over the Bafana Bafana, while South Africa wants to exact revenge for the AFCON loss.

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Hugo Broos of South Africa is probably going to use a balanced 4-2-3-1 style, while Super Eagles coach Finidi George is predicted to use an attacking 4-3-3 formation.

In African football, there is a legendary rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria. 1.

The two countries have played each other several times, including some noteworthy matches during the World Cup and AFCON qualifications.


Nigeria has always had the advantage, but in recent times, South Africa has shown itself to be a very strong rival.

Both clubs are likely to approach the game with caution while maintaining an attacking mentality because of the high stakes.

Nigeria might play more aggressively due of their home field advantage and desire to win.


Under Broos, South Africa has adopted a disciplined approach that will make them hard to overcome.

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According to Anaedoonline.ng, Friday’s match is expected to be an exciting contest with significant consequences for both South Africa and Nigeria.

The result might have a big effect on both sides’ chances of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2026 as well as the dynamics of Group C.

Under the lights of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, fans can anticipate a fierce match in which both teams are trying to win and get closer to their World Cup goals.


Charles Ogundiya of New Telegraph stated in an interview with Newsmen prior to the match that the match between South Africa and Nigeria is more than just a “qualifier.”

“The Super Eagles’ match with South Africa is more than just a qualifier. It’s a defining moment for both teams in their 2026 FIFA World Cup journey,” Ogundiya told Newsmen.

“I know the South Africans would try to get revenge against Nigeria because the Super Eagles defeated them at the 2023 AFCON in the semi-final stage.

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“I know that a victory for either side could significantly alter the dynamics of Group C, because Nigeria are one point behind South Africa in the table.”

When asked for his prediction, Ogundiya said he expects an intense clash, adding that the team who take their chances would eventually win the tie.

He said, “Well, I expect an intense match and the team that takes their chances in front of goal will win the match.”


“I’m tipping Nigeria to edge South Africa by 2 goals to 1.”


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