The Super Eagles were overwhelming favourites to get a victory over Lesotho, but they were stunned
Lesotho coach Leslie Notsi has revealed that they were able to get a draw against Nigeria in their first game of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers because they studied the Super Eagles’ very well before the game, Soccernet reports.
On Thursday, three-time African champions Nigeria welcomed the Crocodiles of Lesotho to the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in their opening game of the World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles were the favourites to beat Lesotho because of the home advantage and the gulf in quality. Moreover, the Crocodiles are ranked 153rd in the world per FIFA.
However, Jose Peseiro’s lads produced a performance that left a bitter taste in the mouth. They lacked the cutting edge in the final third and looked like a side that lacked direction.
Lesotho shocked the three-time African champions in the second half after Motlomelo Mkwanazi scored the opener for them in the 56th minute. However, Semi Ajayi saved Nigeria’s blushes with an equaliser in the 67th minute.
Unfortunately for the Super Eagles, they failed to capitalise on their possession and had to share the spoils with the Southern Africans.
After the game, Lesotho coach Notsi revealed how he got his lads to churn out their impressive performance.
“We did not give them respect. We said no ‘they are the same human beings like us, let’s go there for enjoyment,” Notsi said at the post-match presser.
“But the enjoyment we are talking about is not to just go and waste time. But the self-belief should be there, and they should express themselves in the areas that they are good at.
“We followed the team, we saw the video clips, and we saw areas that we could capitalize on.
“There is a lot that we have learned from this match, so we have to improve on that moving forward.”
Despite the Lesotho shock, Pesesiro will look to spur his lads to victory in their second group game against Zimbabwe on Sunday.