After the drab 1-1 draw with Lesotho, the Super Eagles will tomorrow, in Rwanda, file out against troubled Warriors of Zimbabwe in continuation of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The result ramps up pressure on Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro just months out from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Injured striker Victor Osimhen was sorely missed as Nigeria lacked cutting edge against the minnows. Peseiro’s men need a quick response when they meet Zimbabwe on Sunday.
With their backs to the wall, the Super Eagles will want to bounce back to reckoning with a huge win from the encounter. Their hosts, the Warriors of Zimbabwe who drew 0-0 with Rwanda in their opening group match will also be out for a first win in the series.
For the Super Eagles, the draw with the Crocodiles of Lesotho was indicative of what awaits them in the series: nobody should expect Super Eagles to have it easy with any of the teams in the group.
Apart from Coach Peseiro’s technical frailties, it appears the players are not fighting enough. Their display in Uyo was shoddy, indifferent and fell far short of a true representation of Nigeria’s best. Some analysts have questioned their sense of patriotism, leading to calls for a reconfiguration of the entire architecture of the Nigeria national team. Rightly, some analysts have questioned the inclusion of some foreign-based players in the team and called on national team selectors to look inwards in order to give players in the domestic league a fair chance to compete for shirts in the national team.
Some of the invited players are bench warmers in their European clubs and that reflects in their outing in the national colours. It is crystal clear that the majority of Super Eagles players are average and overrated, yet Nigerians place so much expectations on them. In time past, countries like Lesotho were used as cannon fodders by the Super Eagles to advance their cause.
As the team prepare for the Warriors of Zimbabwe tomorrow, one expects that coach Jose Peseiro will do the right things; like his team selection, putting players in their rightful positions and have the ability to read the match and know when to effect changes that can also change the course of the match.
The Super Eagles can save Nigerians the usual permutations on their chances of qualifying for the World Cup with a commanding performance against the Warriors of Zimbabwe.