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2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier: We are aiming for all three points against South Africa – Finidi George

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Nigeria will approach the South Africa game with the right players and mentality, aiming for all three points, Super Eagles Coach Finidi George has assured Nigerians.

According to Finidi on Thursday, the Super Eagles know nothing but victory will assuage the feelings of football-passionate Nigerians who are still unhappy with their sluggish start to the campaign, with two points from a possible six in their opening two games.

He said: “Nobody needs to tell us that we did not start the campaign well enough. The opportunity has arisen to take our fate in our hands and rise to strong contention in our pool.

“We will approach Friday’s encounter with the right mental attitude.”

Despite late arrivals to camp, the absence of Victor Osimhen, the “Africa Player of the Year,” due to injury, and injuries to defenders William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins, and Zaidu Sanusi, the Finidi team must maintain a strong tactical foundation to maneuver Bafana Bafana and secure the crucial three points.

Persecondnews reports that the Nigerian national team would be looking to avoid conceding in the first 15 minutes of the encounter, as Bafana Bafana are solid defensively.

Hugo Broos’s side have been formidable in the defensive third in their last 10 outings, with one defeat, two wins, and seven draws, keeping six clean sheets in the process.

In his first competitive match as Nigeria’s manager, Finidi will look to put the experienced Kelechi Iheanacho, the young Victor Boniface, and Ademola Lookman in the forefront with the goal of scoring goals early enough on a field where Nigeria has only lost one competitive game since it opened 10 years ago.

Incidentally, the one competitive loss was to the Bafana (0-2 defeat at the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations) on June 10, 2017, but the Eagles rallied in the campaign and eventually finished ahead of the Bafana to qualify for the finals in Egypt, where they also defeated the Bafana in the quarterfinals on the way to a third-place finish.

The Eagles will enter the pitch on Friday night, recalling that South Africa has mostly been second best against them and that their last encounter, in the semi-final of the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire, ended in a penalty shootout victory for Nigeria.

 

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