African FootballFootballWorld Cup qualifiers

2026 World Cup qualifiers: South Africa backed to overcome Nigeria challenge

Former South Africa international, Doctor Khumalo has expressed confidence in Bafana Bafana’s ability to triumph over the Super Eagles in the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for June.

In an interview with SABC News, Khumalo pointed to South Africa’s performance at the recently concluded 2023 Africa Cup of Nations as a source of optimism for their World Cup qualification aspirations.

Nigeria defeated South Africa on penalties in the AFCON semi-final, but Khumalo is believes the third-place playoff winners deserve support going as they turn attention to the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

“Their qualification hopes are still alive; let’s not dismantle it, it’s not yet broken. So, let’s give Hugo [South Africa coach] support,” Khumalo stated.

“I would like to believe that Nigeria is in our group, but from what I have seen in Ivory Coast, I can bet all my money that SA can overcome that obstacle,” Khumalo added.

Both Nigeria and South Africa are placed in Group C of the World Cup qualifiers, alongside Rwanda, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and the Republic of Benin.

While the Super Eagles began their campaign with draws against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, South Africa secured a victory against Benin but suffered a defeat at the hands of Rwanda.

The qualifiers will return in the middle of the year, as all six teams continue battle for the sole automatic ticket from group C.

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