Finidi George | Why I didn’t use Victor Boniface against South Africa

Nigerian talented striker Victor Boniface was an unused substitute in yesterday’s encounter against South Africa. Nigeria’s new head coach, Finidi George, has explained his reason for not fielding Victor Boniface in yesterday’s 2026 World Cup qualification match against South Africa in Uyo.

Finidi explained that the circumstances on the football pitch changed his plans of fielding Victor Boniface. “We thought about bringing him in, he was supposed to come in, but when Ajayi complained that he couldn’t continue, we had to reverse that,” Finidi acknowledged in a post-match interview on Friday.

However, Finidi reassured fans that the talented forward’s chance may still come. “We have another game definitely if he’s up and doing he’s going to play,” he stated.

Addressing the criticism and demands from some quarters regarding player selections, Finidi emphasised the importance of on-field performance over external pressures.

“For me, it’s what you can give to me on the field of play. Everybody wants this player or that player to play, but at the end of the day, if the player is not performing, you guys will still be shouting take him off, so let us do our job. We know who is good to go,” Finidi declared.

Yesterday at Uyo, the Super Eagles of Nigeria played a 1-1 draw against Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the third round of the 2026 World Cup qualifier.

Themba Zwane of South Africa opened the scoresheet in the 29th minute of the match played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

A few minutes into the second half Nigeria’s no 10 Fisayo Dele-Bashiru equalised with a low shot to the edge of the post in the 46th minute.

The match ended in a 1: 1 draw. The implication is that Nigeria’s three World Cup matches ended in a stalemate.

Following the outcome of yesterday’s encounter Nigeria is now fifth in a table of six teams after three football matches in the 10-match competition.

The group winners will qualify for the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States; four best-ranked runners-up will go into play-offs and winners enter an inter-continental tournament where six nations will compete for two places.

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