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HomeFIFA World CupUnderfire Nigeria Boss Offers Excuse For Zimbabwe Draw

Underfire Nigeria Boss Offers Excuse For Zimbabwe Draw

Nigeria head coach José Peseiro says the travelling fatigue was the main reason behind their subpar performance in the 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe on Sunday afternoon.

After a 1-1 draw in Uyo, Nigeria – the Super Eagles dropped points again in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against The Warriors, who hosted them in Rwanda.

The 4,058 km journey is about 10 hours by flight, with a three-hour bus journey to the stadium in Butare, where Walter Musona and Kelechi Iheanacho netted the goals at the Huye Stadium.

“It was a tough, difficult trip from Nigeria in the flight, many hours, the players didn’t rest enough for quick play at the same level,” Peseiro said about the draw, as per Pulse Sport.

The former Sporting Lisbon mentor described the first half as ‘very bad’ and his senior midfielder Alex Iwobi went on to echo the sentiments of the coach.

Alex Iwobi of Nigeria at the end of the match during the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers between Zimbabwe and Nigeria at Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda on 19 November 2023 ©Julius Ntare/BackpagePix

“He’s already said the travel was a lot for us, after the game (against Lesotho) we had to fly four hours then another three-hour coach down here which wasn’t easy.

“But as a player, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse, we’re professional enough and we have lots of quality in the side.”

South Africa will now have the chance to move four points clear of the Super Eagles and Zimbabwe before they meet next year in Group C.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.