The Super Eagles are poised for redemption as they gear up to face Zimbabwe in their second World Cup qualifier at Stade Huye in Butare, Rwanda.
Nigeria faced disappointment in their opening match, settling for a 1-1 draw against Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo. Motlomelo Mkwanazi’s 56th-minute goal from a corner gave Lesotho an unexpected lead. However, Semi Ajayi’s powerful header, off a corner from Kelechi Iheanacho, leveled the score for the Eagles 11 minutes later amid rainy conditions.
Their upcoming opponent, Zimbabwe, commenced their World Cup qualifying journey with a goalless draw against Rwanda at Butare’s Huye Stadium.
The Eagles have a history of dominance against Zimbabwe, remaining undefeated in their last six encounters with the Warriors. They aim to continue this trend as they seek to kickstart their qualifying campaign.
Although the Warriors claimed a 2-0 friendly victory over the Eagles in August 1981, they have struggled in recent games, suffering four defeats and securing two draws.
Nevertheless, the Eagles have shown resilience, going unbeaten in their last six matches with four wins and two draws since their 1-0 home loss against Guinea-Bissau in March.
Ahead of the game, Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro expressed confidence that the team will bounce back from their disappointing draw against Lesotho and put up a strong performance.
“We will respond very well (vs Zimbabwe),” Peseiro said.
“Now we have to beat Zimbabwe on Sunday.”