… Says ‘Don’t judge me by Mali defeat’


Super Eagles coach, Finidi George has vowed to put in everything he has to ensure Nigeria qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Soccernet.ng reports.

Nigeria’s qualifying campaign is not going great at the moment as the Super Eagles boast only two points to sit third of their group behind Rwanda and South Africa.

A lot is riding on Nigeria’s next two games as the Super Eagles could overtake their major challengers with a win over South Africa and Benin in June.

However, no one knows what to expect of Finidi, who was only appointed as the new head coach of the Super Eagles last week.

The former Ajax Amsterdam winger led Nigeria to a disappointing 2-0 friendly defeat against Mali in March, a few days after claiming a 2-1 win over Ghana.

Finidi is convinced, though, that with the support of Nigerians, the Super Eagles will meet all set targets.

While asking that he should not be judged by the single defeat on his record, the Enyimba FC coach assures that he has been monitoring Nigeria’s next opponents and has been in contact with some Super Eagles players.

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    “The World Cup qualification matches against South Africa and the Benin Republic is a collective responsibility for all Nigerians,” Finidi said, as per Complete Sports.

    “I know I am in charge now, and the heavy responsibility is on me to win the two world cup matches.

“I will do my best to ensure success and qualify for the World Cup. I am also in touch with the players, and they are ready and willing to give their all, having missed out on the last edition held in Qatar.

“In terms of having knowledge of our opponents, I have been following them.

“The world today is a global village; one can monitor anything in the comfort of his/ her sitting room.

    “We need prayers and support from everybody; this is our own; we can do it and do it well.

“I watch our players weekly as they play in their various clubs. Honestly, my target is to win the two matches and not to be judged with the two international friendly games played.”

Nigeria and South Africa played a 1-1 full-time draw the last time they met in the semifinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations last February. The Super Eagles eventually won that tie on penalties.