Super Eagles World Cup hope rises as Rwanda maul South Africa 2-0

RWANDA defeated South Africa 2 nil on Tuesday, November 21, at the second fixture of the Africa qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup, played at the Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda.      

Rwanda’s historic victory ended their six-winless streak and pushed them to the top position ahead of South Africa in Group C of the qualifiers.

The shock defeat against South Africa also aroused the Super Eagles’ 2026 World Cup hopes after garnering two points from the first two games to stay in third position on the log.

Rwanda, who had drawn their opening Group C match 0-0 against Zimbabwe, upset their visitors – South Africa – who had enjoyed a 12-match unbeaten streak, to deny them a six-point lead at the top of Group C after Nigeria and Zimbabwe had failed to secure a win.

The host took the lead early, twelve minutes after kickoff, through Innocent Nshuti, who converted the chance after connecting a cross from Byiringiro.

Ten minutes later, Rwanda doubled their lead through Gilbert Mugisha’s powerful right foot, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net.

The second goal left their opponent, who won their opening match with a 2-1 victory against Benin, in awe.

The win means South Africa could not stretch their dominance after they failed to pick up six points to affirm their top position in the group.

The victory for Rwanda puts them at the top of the log with four points. Bafana Bafana are second with three points, while Nigeria’s Eagles are third with two points.

Lesotho and Zimbabwe occupy third place with the same points as Nigeria but have scored fewer goals, while Benin Republic sit at the bottom of the log with one point.

Having played two matches, the next round of games in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers will be held in June 2024. Nigeria will host South Africa, and the match will determine Nigeria’s World Cup qualification.

But before then, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be held in January in Cote d’Ivoire.

 

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