South Africa commenced their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification journey in impressive fashion, securing a 2-1 victory against Benin Republic on Saturday. Positioned as strong contenders alongside Nigeria, the Bafana Bafana aim to outpace Benin, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe in the quest for a spot in the upcoming Mundial.
Unlike Nigeria, which settled for a disappointing 1-1 draw with Lesotho on Thursday, South Africa successfully navigated the challenge posed by Benin. Former Brighton forward Percy Tau propelled Bafana Bafana into an early lead within the first two minutes, and Khuliso Johnson Mudau extended their advantage just before halftime.
While Brest striker Steve Mounié scored for Benin in the second half, narrowing the deficit for the Cheetahs, the West Africans, under the management of former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, fell short of equalizing despite a late surge of opportunities.
This triumph propels South Africa to the summit of Group C, a position they aim to reinforce when they face Rwanda on Tuesday, November 21. With Rwanda securing a goalless draw against Zimbabwe in their opening match, both teams currently share one point with Nigeria and Lesotho.
Looking ahead, the Super Eagles have an opportunity to reverse their fortunes as they confront Zimbabwe at Huye Stadium in Rwanda on Sunday. As former African champions, Nigeria targets a fifth victory in seven encounters against the Warriors.