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Benin, known as the Cheetahs, will face off against their West African neighbors, Nigeria, the Super Eagles, in a crucial World Cup qualifying match on Monday. Benin comes into the game with momentum, having secured a victory against Rwanda in their last match. In contrast, Nigeria is still searching for their first win in the qualifiers. This sets up a highly competitive Group C, where all six teams remain in contention for qualification after three rounds.

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Gernot Rohr, now leading Benin, will face his former team, the Super Eagles, in this vital encounter. Despite the match being held in Abidjan, Rohr is confident his squad can build on their recent 1-0 victory over Rwanda, which moved them to third place in the standings, just ahead of Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s head coach, Finidi George, is under pressure following three consecutive 1-1 draws in their World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The recent draw against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana was particularly frustrating for fans, as they believed the team was denied a clear penalty after Fisayo Dele-Bashiru was fouled, moments after scoring a brilliant equalizer. Dele-Bashiru’s goal early in the second half canceled out Themba Zwane’s strike for South Africa, ensuring Nigeria avoided defeat at home in Uyo.

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Despite their disappointing start, Nigeria has a chance to turn their fortunes around with a victory against Benin in Abidjan. A win could potentially propel the Super Eagles to the top of Group C, especially if South Africa fails to win against Zimbabwe and Lesotho, and Rwanda also draws.

Having missed out on the last World Cup finals, Nigeria cannot afford another setback. They must improve their performance to avoid missing consecutive World Cup tournaments for the first time since their debut in 1994.

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