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George Targets Redemption Against Bafana Bafana In Crucial World Cup Qualifier

  • June 7, 2024
  • 2 min read
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George Targets Redemption Against Bafana Bafana In Crucial World Cup Qualifier

Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles, are under pressure to deliver a win against their fierce rivals, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, in a crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday (21:00).

The Super Eagles have gotten off to a shaky start in their World Cup qualifying campaign, drawing their first two matches. This has dampened the spirits of Nigerian fans who were buoyed by the team’s strong showing at the recent Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, where they narrowly lost to the host nation, Ivory Coast, in the final.

Nigeria defied expectations at the AFCON, defeating Bafana Bafana in the semi-finals on penalties. This victory, coupled with their overall performance at the tournament, has raised the bar for the team in the eyes of their supporters.

New coach Finidi George, a former Nigerian international who won the AFCON trophy in 1994, is downplaying the pressure. He acknowledges the importance of the match but emphasizes his focus on the game itself.

“Personally, I don’t have anything to prove in the first place,” said George. 

“It’s you guys (the media) that are hyping everything. For me, I’m quite relaxed and it’s football.  

“We know we want to win; we know what is at stake. So, we will give our best and leave the rest. So, I believe, if the boys do what we want them to do, I think the victory will be on us. So, I’m not worried.  

“Like I have said before, I am not someone that is scared,” added the man who won the UEFA Champions League with fellow Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu in 1995 with Ajax Amsterdam under Louis van Gaal. 

“I have played the game. In football, you only get three results – lose, win or you draw, so we are going for the victory on Friday and that is what I believe is going to happen.”  

With Benin’s recent 1-0 win over Rwanda, the Group C standings have shifted. South Africa, previously in second place, now sits in third position with three points. Nigeria, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe all share fourth, fifth, and sixth spots, respectively, with two points each.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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