By Oyediji Oluwseun Babatunde
Nigeria’s senior men’s national team failed to win their first two Group C games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers after another 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe on Sunday.
The Super Eagles had played out a 1-1 draw with Lesotho in the opening group game after falling behind in the second half before Semi Ajayi rescued a point for the team.
Jose Peseiro stuck with Francis Uzoho in goal alongside Ajayi, Calvin Bassey, Ola Aina, Bruno Onyeamachi, Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyeka, Jo Aribo, Moses Simon, and Nathan Tella who made his first full debut.
Bernard Donovan was in goal for the Warriors with Teenage Hadebe, Jordan Zemura, Marvelous Nakamba, Andrew Mbeba, Marshall Munetsi, Gerald Takwara, Andy Rinomhota, Tino Kadewere, Prince Dube, and Walter Musona also starting the encounter.
The same scenario that ensued in Uyo repeated itself at the Stade Huye as Nigeria conceded first in the 26th minute.
Musona converted a long-range free kick which reached the top right corner to break the deadlock.
It took substitute, Kelechi Iheneacho to level the scoreline in the 67th minute for the three-time African champions.
South Africa tops the log with three points and an outstanding game with Rwanda while Nigeria and Zimbabwe have two points apiece.
Lesotho and Rwanda have a point but Benin Republic has yet to register a point.
Nigeria’s next game in the World Cup Qualifiers is against South Africa on June 5, 2024, after the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where team will face Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau in Group A.