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Nigeria faces crucial Zimbabwe clash following Sadio Mane’s Senegal show

Ahead of Nigeria’s pivotal away encounter against Zimbabwe on Sunday, the spotlight shines on Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who marked his 100th cap in sensational style, notching two goals as Senegal commenced their World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic 4-0 home triumph over South Sudan.

Mane, a two-time African Footballer of the Year, orchestrated a swift opener and netted another within five minutes, illustrating his prowess and pivotal role in Senegal’s commanding victory.

The triumphs didn’t end there; South Africa secured a 2-1 win against Benin at home, while Tanzania clinched a 1-0 victory away to Niger, setting the stage for a weekend brimming with African football qualifiers.

The 31-year-old Mane, who debuted for Senegal in 2012, is a linchpin for his team’s aspirations to secure their third consecutive World Cup berth.


Meanwhile, Nigeria’s concern grows following a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Lesotho, prompting Sports Minister Sen. John Owan-Enoh to express deep concern about the Super Eagles’ performance.

Owan-Enoh stressed Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to securing a spot in the 2026 World Cup, urging the Nigeria Football Federation and the team’s technical crew to address the shortcomings witnessed in the previous match before their clash against Zimbabwe.

The Minister also highlighted broadcasting limitations that hindered Nigerians from watching the national team play, emphasising the need for the NFF to voice Nigeria’s grievances to the appropriate FIFA authorities.

As the stage sets for Nigeria’s crucial game against Zimbabwe, Owan-Enoh called upon all Nigerians to rally behind the team, urging sharper gameplay to navigate the remaining qualifiers successfully.


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