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Super Eagles Denied Victory In Finidi George’s First Official Match As Coach

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Finidi George, Head Coach of the Senior Men National Football Team, the Super Eagles.

A crucial refereeing ‘mistake’ and many missed chances has left Nigeria’s Super Eagles with a draw. They are yet to win a match in Group C of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers following a 1-1 draw against South Africa.

Yesterday’s match at the Akpabio Stadium, Uyo marked the first official game for new head coach Finidi George.

Despite dominating early proceedings, the Super Eagles were trailing when South Africa’s Themba Zwane capitalised on a defensive lapse to slot the ball past Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.

The visitors nearly doubled their lead when Teboho Mokoena’s free-kick rattled the crossbar, and Nwabali and defender Benjamin Tanimu thwarted Khuliso Mudau’s one-on-one effort.

Nigeria’s response came through Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, who scored his first international goal with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty box shortly after halftime.

However, controversy struck when Dele-Bashiru was brought down in the box, only for referee Alhadi Allaou Mahamat to wave away appeals for a penalty, a decision that left both the players and the crowd incensed.

The match continued to be an open contest, with both sides creating numerous chances. South Africa’s Percy Tau missed a golden opportunity to restore his team’s lead, shooting wide with only Nwabali to beat.

Nigerian substitute Samuel Chukwueze came close to scoring the winner, hitting the crossbar with a fierce shot.

In the dying minutes, Terem Moffi had a chance to secure all three points for the Super Eagles but failed to get past South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Watch Finidi George’s post-match reaction below:

Read: Iheanacho Leaves Leicester City After Seven Years, Ndidi’s Transfer Undecided

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