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Rwanda, South Africa win to further dent Super Eagles’ World Cup hopes


THERE were victories for Rwanda and South Africa tonight in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers to pile more misery on the Super Eagles and their hopes of reaching the global tournament.

South Africa defeated Zimbabwe 3-1 in Bloemfontein while Rwanda edged past Lesotho 1-0 in Durban in their matchday 4 encounters this evening, leaving Nigeria further behind in the race for the sole ticket in African qualifying Group C.

Iqraam Rayner shot Bafana Bafana to a first minute lead at the Free State Stadium but Tawanda Chirewa pulled the Brave Warriors level almost immediately.

South Africa struck twice in the second half through Thapelo Morena in the 55th and 76th minutes to seal the win and take their tally to seven points from four matches.

Rwanda rose to the top of the standings, ahead of South Africa on goal difference, after Jojea Kwizera netted on the stroke of half-time at Zimbabwe’s temporary South African ‘home’.

Benin Republic, who shocked the Super Eagles 2-1 in Abijdan yesterday, are also on seven points, only behind Rwanda on goals scored.

Lesotho are fourth with five points while the Super Eagles, who are yet to taste victory in four matches, are second from bottom, four points behind the three leading teams with the campaign almost halfway through.

Zimbabwe bring up the rear in the group with just two points.

Only the nine winners of Africa’s nine qualifying groups will automatically proceed to the World Cup in 2026, with the four best runners-up having to negotiate a complex play-off route for one more spot.

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Naija Times