Sports

2026 World Cup qualifiers: Finidi George identifies South Africa and Benin Republic clashes as “must-win” games

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has described Nigeria’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers as must-win games, Soccernet.ng reports.

The Nigeria Football Federation unveiled the former Ajax winger as the man to replace Jose Peseiro as the coach of Nigeria a few weeks back and he has cued in preparations for the upcoming games right away.

The Super Eagles were drawn into CAF Qualification Group C alongside Rwanda, Lesotho, Benin Republic, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In their first two games, the three-time AFCON winners drew to Rwanda and Lesotho, claiming two points from two games, and are in desperate need of a win to stand a firm ground en route to a place at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Nigeria will face Benin Republic and South Africa in June, and the former Real Betis winger, aware of the task at hand, revealed they need all six points from both games.

“Yeah, the games are really important because we know where we stand at the moment. It’s not a good position, to be honest, we should be honest with ourselves. Where we are at the moment gives us more pressure, because these games are must-win games,” the former Enyimba manager told Arise TV.

However, Finidi refused to assure Nigerians of a win but highlighted his team will be giving their all to return Nigeria to the World Cup after they missed the 2022 edition in Qatar.

“I’m not saying we will win the game but I’m saying they are must-win games because we don’t know what’s going to happen but it all bores down to us as a team because we know what is at hand and then we know we have to get as much as we can in these two games just to go up there,” the 53-year-old added.

Nigeria will take on South Africa on the 7th of June before travelling to Ivory Coast to play against Gernot Rohr’s Benin Republic three days later.