Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro says the team’s 1-1 draw against Lesotho in their opening game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo on Thursday was an ill-fated encounter rather than a flat-footed performance.
The Super Eagles failed to inspire under a rainy atmosphere at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, as they were held at home by their visitors in front of a handful of fans. Lesotho are ranked 153rd in the world – 113 places behind Nigeria who are 40th.
After a goalless first half, Motlomelo Mkwanazi gave Lesotho a shock lead from a corner before West Brom centre-back Semi Ajayi headed Nigeria level from a Kelechi Iheanacho’s corner 11 minutes later.
Peseiro’s men continued their dominance but couldn’t break their resilient visitors who snatched a point.
“We had 76 per cent of the ball possession to their 24 per cent. We played against a team that had just two shots while we were unlucky in the attack. We are sad about the result,” Peseiro said during the post-match presser.
Nigeria’s draw against the minnows hands the advantage in Group C to South Africa and Benin Republic who are yet to play in the qualifying series.
Meanwhile, Nigeria are second in the group behind Lesotho while Rwanda and Zimbabwe who also played a goalless draw on Wednesday are third and fourth.
The Super Eagles will next face Zimbabwe at their adopted ground in Rwanda on Sunday.
Text except headline courtesy Punch