'It was a sad moment' - Super Eagles stand-in captain Ndidi makes World Cup vow ahead of qualifiers 

Published: September 11, 2023
'It was a sad moment' - Super Eagles stand-in captain Ndidi makes World Cup vow ahead of qualifiers 

Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign is now done and dusted, and the next target is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup which will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States.


The Super Eagles lost out on a place in the 2022 World Cup to the Black Stars of Ghana on the away goal rule after a scoreless first leg tie in Kumasi and 1-1 draw at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.



In the second leg, a shot from Arsenal's Ghana captain Thomas Partey squirmed under the body of Francis Uzoho and went into the net but William Troost-Ekong equalised midway through the first half when he converted a penalty. 


Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi could not help the Super Eagles in their quest to qualify for the tournament in Qatar because he was recovering from a knee injury. 


Ndidi, who was stand-in captain in Sunday's 6-0 rout of Sao Tome and Principe at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, has made a vow before the start of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, stating that the Super Eagles will not repeat the same mistake that cost them a place in the 2022 World Cup finals. 


Speaking to reporters at the post-match press conference, the Super Eagles number 4 said: "Of course everybody knows when we didn't qualify for the World Cup, it was a sad moment for not just the players but the whole country.


"It was a mistake that we always feel that might not happen again. We know the feeling of not representing, sitting at home watching the World Cup was really sad so we know what we have to do now to actually give it all for the next one."


Ndidi was a key member of Nigeria's squad to the 2018 World Cup, going the distance in all three matches played by the three-time African champions. 


The Super Eagles have qualified for six of the last eight World Cups: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2018. 



Ifeanyi Emmanuel 



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