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WCQ: Finidi wrecks Super Eagles 

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. Nigeria remains winless, now 6th in Group C table

By Rasaq Oboirien

Coach Finidi George has incurred the wrath of Nigerians by wrecking the Super Eagles and putting Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the Mundial to be co hosted by United States, Mexico and Canada in jeopardy, after the 2023 AFCON silver winner suffered its first defeat in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, losing to the Cheetahs of Benin Republic at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan yesterday. 

The contest between the countries has never been this tough for Nigeria, who has never lost to its next-door neighbours in 14 games.

After four matches in the World Cup qualifiers, and two which Finidi George has taken charge of, since named as Super Eagles coach by the Nigeria Football Federation, Nigeria is yet to record a win, and is currently placed 5th in Group C with 3 points, only above Zimbabwe who still have a game in hand. 

Benin Republic, led by former Super Eagles Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr watched as his impressive Cheetahs came back to clip the wings of the Super Eagles 2-1 after falling behind in the 28th minute.

The Super Eagles who shared the spoils with a poor showing on Matchday 3 against South Africa Bafana Bafana at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, took the game to the Cheetahs and got the opening goal courtesy the boots of Raphael Onyedika.

The Cheetahs struck back in the 37th minute, as Jodel Dossou capitalised on some school boy defending from Calvin Bassey, picked up the ball and struck a cool finish past goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali for 1-1.

Dossou soon made way for Aiyegun Tosin due to an injury, but the substitute made a key impact when he assisted Steve Mounie in added time before the break, as the veteran hit a right-footed shot home to see the Cheetahs enjoy a 2-1 lead at half time.

The result sees Benin leapfrog to the top of the group on 7 points. 

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