Nigeria and South Africa renew their rivalry

football06 June 2024 11:00| © Backpage TXT
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Bafana Bafana © Getty Images

The Group C clash between Nigeria and South Africa headlines Friday's 2026 World Cup qualifiers, while African champions Ivory Coast take on Gabon.

An important three points will be up for grabs when Nigeria host South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Friday night.

The two teams are expected to battle it out for top spot in Group C, although Rwanda currently lead the way on four points after two matches.

Bafana Bafana made a positive start as they beat Benin 2-1 in Durban on November 18, only to suffer a surprise 2-0 to the Wasps in Butare three days later.

The Super Eagles were underwhelming in their encounters with Lesotho and Zimbabwe, having been held to successive 1-1 draws which has left them third in the group on two points.

Ivory Coast and Gabon are the frontrunners in Group F as they prepare to lock horns at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on Friday night.

The Elephants got off to the best possible start when they routed Seychelles 9-0 in Abidjan on November 17 and maintained their perfect record with a 2-0 win over Gambia in Dar es Salaam three days later.

The Panthers also collected six points from their opening two qualifiers after battling back from behind to beat Kenya 2-1 in Franceville on November 16 before edging Burundi by the same scoreline in Dar es Salaam.

Kenya will be looking to build on their fine performance against Seychelles when they face Burundi at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Friday afternoon.

The Harambee Stars thrashed the Pirates 5-0 in Abidjan on November 20 to put their first points on the board and they are ahead of the Swallows on goal difference in third place.

Meanwhile, the battle of the Indian Ocean islanders sees Madagascar go head-to-head with Comoros at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday evening.

The Coelacanths are the surprise leaders in Group I after kicking off proceedings with a 4-2 triumph over Central African Republic in Moroni on November 17 followed by a shock 1-0 win against Ghana on home soil four days later.

The Barea also find themselves ahead of the Black Stars on goal difference despite losing 1-0 in Kumasi on November 17, having bounced back with a 3-0 success against Chad in Oujda.

Friday's CAF 2026 World Cup qualifying fixtures:

3pm: Kenya v Burundi

3pm: Mozambique v Somalia

3pm: Zimbabwe v Lesotho

6pm: Angola v Eswatini

6pm: Madagascar v Comoros

6pm: Uganda v Botswana

9pm: Ivory Coast v Gabon

9pm: Nigeria v South Africa