Okocha Reveals The Reason Super Eagles Failed In W’Cup Qualifiers

Former Super Eagles Captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha reveals the main reason why Nigeria and South Africa were not able to get maximum points in its 2026 world cup qualifiers npflupdates.com reports.

Okocha was unimpressed with the performances of Nigeria and South Africa during their last outing for the 2026 FIFA world cup qualifier fixtures.

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Super Eagles team at the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, Lagos.

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Nigeria endured a shocking 1-1 draw against the Crocodiles of Lesotho in Uyo last month. The three-time African champions also endured another 1-1 draw against the Warriors of Zimbabwe in Rwanda three days after.

On the other hand, South Africa managed a 2-1 victory over Benin on its qualifier fixture on Matchday one; but surrendered to a 2-0 defeat against Rwanda three days after in Kigali.

Super Eagles legend Austin Jay Jay Okocha.
Jay Jay Okocha in action for Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Okocha talks about Super Eagles 2026 world cup qualifier shortcomings

The former Bolton Wanderers Captain is of the opinion that the long-time rivalry between the two African giants(Nigeria and South Africa) was their distraction. Hence it affected them from noticing the threats posed by the other teams in their group.

“We [Nigeria and South Africa] didn’t get off to a good start and I can say that we are lucky that Bafana Bafana lost their second game,” Okocha said, per Sunday World and was quoted by Soccernet Nigeria.

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“I think we are focusing more on the rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria instead of focusing on qualifying. It’s a big surprise that Rwanda is topping the group.

“So, I think we [Nigeria and South Africa need to] change the mindset and focus on the qualification instead of focusing on our rivalry.”

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Jose Peseiro at Super Eagles training

Nigeria will return to 2026 world cup qualifier action next year against South Africa on Matchday three.

South Africa’s Bafana Bafana currently occupies the second spot on the table, while the three-time African champions are third.

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