The Super Eagles of Nigeria failed defeat Lesotho for the first time when they played a 1-1 draw on matchday one of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
In this article, Sportsration correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan presents three reasons why Nigeria failed to defeat Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Thursday, November 16.
NO OSIMHEN – BIG PROBLEM
The Super Eagles did not play badly vs Lesotho. The teams only undoing was failing to score goals. The big problem there was the abscence of Victor Osimhen.
The likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Terem Moffi and Victor Boniface who played the entire 90’minutes were not clinical in front.
Nobody was ready to throw himself in for the aerial balls from set-pieces. On three occasions in the second half, deliveries from free-kicks flew unattempted across the Lesotho goal, whereas Osimhen would have flung himself towards the ball.
Nigeria missed Osimhen vs Lesotho.
A CONFIDENCE-SHORT GOALKEEPER
No matter how Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro tries to paint it, his first-choice goalkeeper is short of confidence at the moment.
Francis Uzoho is not a terrible goalkeeper but the errors on international duty and fear of comitting another has stolen his confidence.
He should have stopped the cross for Lesotho’s goal, like goalkeepers with his height are expected to do but he stood still and had no answers to the final touch.
Lesotho had two shots on goal and scored with one, another day to ask Peseiro to profer solution to Nigeria’s wobbling goalkeeping department.
POOR SUBSTITUTION DECISIONS
The decision to make like for like substitutions in defence when the Super Eagles needed goals to win against Lesotho was a poor choice by Jose Peseiro in my opinion.
This is a Lesotho team that rarely threatened the Super Eagles backline, what happened to a formation switch to have more bodies forward.
Pull-off Bright-Osayi Samuel and send Nathan Tella on to run at the Lesotho defenders. Instead, Peseiro took off Jamiu Collins who was adding efforts in attack for Bruno Onyeamachi before substituting Bright Osayi-samuel for Ola Aina.
This choices did not work – for me that was poor and strange.