After Nigeria fightback from a goal down to record another 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe yesterday afternoon in Rwanda, Alex Iwobi, has pleaded with football fans in the country not to give up on the Super Eagles yet but continue to offer their support in the quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The three-time African champions who similarly drew their opening game against Lesotho in Uyo last Thursday, were expected to beat the Warriors and temporary leapfrog South Africa to the top of Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying series.
However, that dream became a tough one and almost turned a nightmare until substitute Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to grab the equaliser in the 67th minute.
The Zimbabweans took the lead in the 26th minute through a 30metre free kick by Walter Musona who floated the ball over the Nigerian wall of defence and beat a hapless Francis Uzoho in goal.
But speaking at the post match, the Fulham midfielder expressed his disappointment with the inability of Super Eagles to pick all three points against Zimbabwe after drawing the opening match in Uyo.
“We really feel disappointed not picking all three points from this clash with Zimbabwe. However, we are not going to dwell on this now but keep fighting on till the very last.
“I want our fans to stick with us as we will do our best and finish tops at the end of the campaign,” observed the former Everton player.
Head Coach of the Super Eagles who has come under barrage of attacks from the local sporting media, admitted that the absence of key players like Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi, Wilfred Ndidi and a host of others affected the quality expected from his team in both matches played so far.
This sluggish start of the Super Eagles to the 2026 World Cup qualifiers is beginning to portend a grave danger as South Africa may end up picking the group’s only ticket.
The Bafana Bafana are likely to beat Rwanda in their next match tomorrow to go six points on top of the table, a clear four points advantage over Nigeria on two points. A win for Rwanda or Lesotho in the group’s other match means Eagles slip further down on the log.
Nigeria have no more fixtures this year until mid 2024 when they will take on South Africa for their third match in the series of 10 games.