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Benin vs Nigeria: 3 Key Takeaways as Super Eagles Stumble Again

Super Eagles

Nigeria suffered their first defeat in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series, losing 2-1 to Benin Republic on Monday.

Previously, the Super Eagles had drawn their first three matches 1-1.

Here are three key takeaways from the unexpected result in Abidjan:

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Real danger of missing the 2026 World Cup

After missing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Nigeria now faces a significant risk of missing the next edition, which will be co-hosted by the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The Super Eagles are currently in fifth place in Group C after four matches, with other teams performing better so far.

Finidi George’s competency in question

Finidi George’s appointment as head coach last month was met with controversy, and some criticisms now seem justified. The former Enyimba boss has not demonstrated tactical acumen, making questionable decisions like dropping Victor Boniface for the two games and making reactionary substitutions under pressure. This raises the question of whether Emmanuel Amuneke would have been a better choice.

Gernot Rohr’s redemption

For Gernot Rohr, the victory must have been sweet. The German coach, who managed the Super Eagles for five years before being sacked in 2021, saw his current team hand his former employers a defeat, significantly damaging their chances of qualifying for the next World Cup.

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Written by Uthman Olagoke

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