Press "Enter" to skip to content

Finidi George Explains Decision to Bench Victor Boniface in South Africa Match

Finidi George Explains Decision to Bench Victor Boniface in South Africa Match

Nigeria’s head coach, Finidi George, clarified his decision not to play striker Victor Boniface in the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw against South Africa in their 2026 World Cup qualifier on Friday. Despite considering Boniface’s inclusion, Finidi opted for a tactical change due to unforeseen circumstances during the match.

“We thought about bringing him in,” Finidi explained. “He was supposed to come in, but when Ajayi complained he couldn’t continue, we had to reverse that decision.” Finidi emphasized the importance of on-field performance over external pressures, stating, “For me, it’s what you can give to me on the field of play. Everyone wants this player or that player to play, but you will still be shouting to take him off if the player is not performing. Let us do our job; we know who is good to go.”

The match, which took place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, saw South Africa’s Themba Zwane score first in the 29th minute. Nigeria’s Fisayo Dele-Bashiru equalized with a low shot in the 46th minute, resulting in a stalemate.

This draw places Nigeria fifth in a group of six teams after three matches, all of which have ended in draws. The group winners will qualify for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, with the four best-ranked runners-up entering playoffs for an intercontinental tournament.

Finidi, who was managing his first game as the Super Eagles coach, reassured fans that Boniface will have opportunities in future matches. “We have another game coming up, and if Boniface is fit, he will play,” Finidi stated.

The Super Eagles will next face third-placed Benin in Abidjan on June 10, aiming to improve their standing in the qualifiers.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *