WCQ: Nigeria lose to Benin Republic, remain 5th in group

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in their 2026 World Cup qualification game.

The Eagles were stunned by the doggedness of the Beninese at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Monday.

The loss condemned the team to fifth place in Group C, with a slim chance of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

Nigeria came into the game following a 1-1 home draw against South Africa four days prior.


Despite George Finidi, Super Eagles head coach, making two changes to the line-up that started the previous game, the team’s performance failed to improve.

Raphael Onyedika came on for Fisayo Dele-Bashiru in the midfield, while Terem Moffi started ahead of Paul Onuachu.

The Eagles produced sparks of excellence in the match’s early stages, and the efforts culminated in a lead in the 27th minute.


Onyedika bought himself space and time at the edge of the Beninese goal area and smashed home the shot to put Nigeria ahead.

But Benin struck back 10 minutes later. A defensive mishap from Calvin Bassey sent Jodel Dossou clear on goal, and the striker placed the ball past an on-rushing Stanley Nwabali into the net.

The Squirrels turned the game around a few minutes later when Steve Mounie pounced on a loose ball inside the Nigerian goal area and made the 2-1.

The Eagles are fifth in the qualification group with three points from four games. They rank above only Zimbabwe, which has a game at hand.



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