RWANDA rose to the top of 2026 World Cup African qualifying Group C today with a 2-0 win over South Africa, preventing Bafana Bafana from going four points clear of Nigeria’s misfiring Super Eagles.
In the group’s other fixture today, Benin Republic, handled by former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, secured their first point with a 0-0 draw with Lesotho in Durban, South Africa.
South Africa would have opened up a four-point gap over Nigeria if they had beaten Rwanda today but it was the hosts who secured a famous win and moved to the summit.
Rwanda scored twice in the first half at the Huye Stadium and kept a clean sheet in the second half to hold off Bafana Bafana.
Innocent Nshuti fired Rwanda in front after 12 minutes and Gilbert Mugisha sealed the win in the 26th minute to shock Hugo Broos’ side.
In Durban, Lesotho’s ‘home’, the hosts earned their second consecutive point with a 0-0 draw with Benin Republic, consolidating on their commendable 1-1 draw against the Super Eagles in Abuja on Thursday.
As things stand, Rwanda are on top with four points, followed by South Africa with three.
Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Lesotho have two points each, while Benin Republic are bottom with one.
In the next round of fixtures in the group, in June 2024, Nigeria will host South Africa and visit Benin Republic, while Benin Republic will welcome Rwanda, and Zimbabwe will visit neighbours South Africa.
Lesotho will also host Rwanda and visit neighbours Zimbabwe.
Only the group winners are guaranteed passage to the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.