The three-time African champions left many fans bewildered by their inspiring displays against the Warriors and the Crocodiles
Nigeria goalkeeping great Peter Rufai is convinced that all hope is not lost for the Super Eagles in the race to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Super Eagles began the qualifying campaign for the next Mundial in disappointing fashion after they failed to claim a win in any of their first two matches.
The three-time African champions wobbled to a 1-1 draw with Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on November 16.
And three days later, the Super Eagles needed a second-half strike from Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho to rescue a point against Zimbabwe in Rwanda.
For both games, Nigeria unleashed some of Africa’s most exciting attacking talents, including Taiwo Awoniyi, Victor Boniface, and Moses Simon.
However, it has not come as a surprise that the team has faced severe criticism after securing a measly two points from two games against two teams outside of the world’s top 120 football nations.
1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner Rufai, though, believes that the Super Eagles can turn their fortunes around in their next few matches.
“They can surprise us. Football is a crazy sport. I believe they can still turn things around and make Nigerians happy,” Rufai told BBC Sport Africa. “It’s not a disaster yet. I expect the team to turn it around and qualify for the World Cup.”
Nigeria will resume their World Cup qualifying campaign in June after the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
The Super Eagles will host South Africa in Uyo on June 24 before heading to Rwanda to trade tackles with the Wasps.
The Rwandans, with four points, currently lead Group C after a shock 2-0 win over South Africa on Tuesday, followed by Bafana Bafana with three points.
Nigeria sit in third with two points.