The coach of Nigeria Super Eagles, 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.
Peseiro made this known after a post-match conference.
“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.
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.
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.
Angry fans react
Meanwhile, fans across Nigeria have lashed out at the faltering performance of the Super Eagles against Lesotho.
The team’s lacklustre display on the pitch ignited a storm of criticism, leaving supporters seething over the disappointing outcome. The echoes of disapproval found their way to social media with fans criticising Jose Peseiro, his tactics, and the passions of the players on the team.
Social media influencer, OMOTAYO Of Lagos wrote, “Imagine drawing against Lesotho that are ranked 153 by FIFA in your backyard, so many things are wrong with this team including the manager himself.”
Lateef CFC equally expressed shame and asked for the home-based players to be given a try as the current mix is not doing enough.
“We are a shame to watch Nigeria. Just play the home base let’s see what they are capable of. I don’t need these guys anymore.”
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Godwin Atai questioned the team’s passion and ability, asking, “What exactly do you guys need to win a game against Lesotho? Someone will say there’s no small team in football no more but countries like Egypt will be showing their class. Why does that statement always hold away where Super Eagles are involved?”
Nigeria is 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.