12 men Nigeria battle to a 1-1 draw vs Zimbabwe in 2026 World Cup qualifier

The FIFA 2026 World Cup Qualifiers witnessed an intense battle between Zimbabwe and Nigeria in Group C played Sunday at Huye Stadium, Rwanda, ending in a 1-1 draw

BUTARE The FIFA 2026 World Cup Qualifiers witnessed an intense battle between Zimbabwe and Nigeria in Group C played Sunday at Huye Stadium, Rwanda, ending in a 1-1 draw.

The match showcased remarkable moments amidst questionable officiating in the second half, with both teams displaying their prowess on the field.

The first half saw Zimbabwe taking the lead with a spectacular free-kick from Walter Musona in the 27th minute, placing the hosts in a favorable position.

The goal appeared to unsettle the Super Eagles, who struggled to regain control and failed to mount a significant counter-attack.

Zimbabwe continued to dominate the pace in the following minutes, with impressive ball management and restricting Nigeria’s access to dangerous positions.

The Warriors showcased their skills, limiting the Super Eagles’ ability to stitch passes and effectively controlling the midfield.

As the first half concluded, Zimbabwe maintained their lead, leaving Nigeria trailing and searching for a way to turn the tide.

However, the second half saw a resurgence from Nigeria, determined to level the playing field.

In the 66th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho secured the equalizer for Nigeria from inside the box, altering the dynamics of the match.

Zimbabwe national team players pose for a team photo before the 2026 FIFA World Cup match against Nigeria at Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda on Sunday 19th November 2023.
FILE: Zimbabwe national team players pose for a team photo before the 2026 FIFA World Cup match against Nigeria at Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda on Sunday 19th November 2023.

Despite both teams creating opportunities, including an ambitious attempt from Zimbabwe’s Marshall Munetsi and a header from Iheanacho that went wide, the scoreline remained unchanged.

The match witnessed strategic substitutions from both sides, adding a layer of intensity to the competition.

In the dying minutes of the game, Zimbabwe had a chance to secure victory when Tanaka Shandirwa found some space, but his effort sailed over the bar.

The match concluded with a 1-1 draw, reflecting the competitive nature of the encounter.

The post-match comments highlighted the competitive spirit and determination of both teams.

Nigeria’s coach commended the resilience of his players, especially after going a goal down, while Zimbabwe’s coach Baltemar Brito expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance but acknowledged the need to convert opportunities into goals.

The draw leaves both Zimbabwe and Nigeria with work to do in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers, as they continue their quest for a spot in the prestigious tournament.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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