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Nigeria’s Group C standings shuffle as Rwanda surprises with victory over South Africa

Nigeria has now slipped to the third spot in Group C for the CAF qualification series leading to the 2026 World Cup. This shift comes after the conclusion of two crucial Match Day 2 games within the group.

In a stunning upset at the Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda secured a surprising 2-0 win against South Africa, courtesy of goals scored by Innocent Nshuti and Gilbert Mugisha. The unexpected victory meant that South Africa missed the opportunity to gather a solid six points from two games, which would have solidified their position at the top of the group.

Simultaneously, Lesotho and Benin Republic battled it out to a goalless draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, further shaping the group dynamics.

The current standings reveal Rwanda at the summit of the group with four points, followed closely by South Africa with three points. Nigeria, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe all share two points each, while Benin, with just one point, occupies the bottom spot among the six nations.


Looking ahead, the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers are set to resume in June 2024, with Nigeria hosting Group C leaders South Africa before embarking on an away fixture against Benin Republic.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup presents an expanded roster of 48 teams in contention, altering the slot allocations for various confederations. CAF, which previously held five slots, now possesses nine direct slots for the tournament. Additionally, there’s a provision for a tenth team to compete in the inter-confederation play-offs.

A total of 53 teams from Africa will vie for these ten slots. Divided into nine groups, with one group comprising five teams, these squads will engage in home and away fixtures within their respective groups.

At the conclusion of these matches, the top team from each group will secure a direct qualification, filling up nine slots. The four best second-placed teams from all groups will participate in a mini-tournament featuring two semi-finals and a final. The victor will represent CAF in the inter-confederation play-offs.


The CAF qualifier will then engage in another mini-tournament alongside representatives from CONMEBOL, AFC, OFC, and two teams from CONCACAF. The top two teams emerging from this tournament will claim the final spots in the 2026 World Cup.

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