CAF Qualifiers - Nigeria v South Africa

Image Source: Alamy Stock Photo

2026 World Cup qualifier
CAF Group C
Nigeria v South Africa
Godswill Akpabio International Stadium
Uyo, Nigeria
Friday, 7 June 2024
Kick-off is at 20h00 
Finidi George wants to bring a 'no fear' mentality to the team as he prepares for his first competitive match at the helm against South Africa in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday, June 7.
George took over the reins on a permanent basis from Jose Peseiro last month, having served as the Portuguese's assistant for two years before being named interim coach ahead of the March friendlies against Ghana and Mali.
The 53-year-old kicked off his tenure with a 2-1 victory over the Black Stars and then suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Eagles, but his job begins in earnest against Bafana Bafana.
The Super Eagles made an underwhelming start to their qualifying campaign after playing out to successive 1-1 draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November, which left them third in Group C.
Hugo Broos' side are just one point better off in second spot, having lost 2-0 to Rwanda, who lead the way on four points after that shock result on matchday 2.

Ademola LookmanImage Source: Alamy Stock Photo
George admits expectations are high from Nigerian fans, but he's taking it one game at a time in a bid to get the West Africans competing on the world's biggest stage again after they failed to qualify for the global showpiece in Qatar two years ago. 
"We know Nigerians would love the team to win all the time, and we'll just get the players focused on the game, one game at a time," he told Eagle FM.
"We focus on the South African game and see how we can win that one before we talk about the Benin Republic game.
"One cannot be scared in life. Going through life is difficult, you walk through it with the difficulties that you know you'll encounter.
"So that's how I look at life and approach it that way, and football will not be any different. We will do our job and make sure we get the best out of that game, and apart from that, nothing else."

Head-to-Head (Last Five Meetings)

Matches - 5
Nigeria wins - 2
South Africa wins - 1
Draws - 2

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Published: 06/04/2024