Boniface benched as Moffi, Lookman lead Super Eagles

In a highly anticipated international fixture, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have unveiled their starting lineup for the clash against Benin Republic in the fourth round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

Head coach Finidi George, on Monday, named Terem Moffi and Ademola Lookman to spearhead the attack, while Victor Boniface has been placed on the bench.

The Super Eagles take to the field with the following lineup:

Goalkeeper: Nwabali

Defenders: Bassey, Tanimu, Ajayi, Osayi-Samuel

Midfielders: Ndidi, Onyeka, Iwobi

Attackers: Chukwueze, Lookman, Moffi

The substitutes include; Iheanacho, Boniface, Onuachu, Abdullahi, Dele-Bashiru, Onyeka Awaziem, Olawoyin, Igboke, Ismaila, Okoye (GK) and Ojo (GK)

Last Friday, Pressure mounted on the Super Eagles after the team 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. Equalising after a superb turn, Nigeria’s Fisayo Dele-Bashiru slotted in a low shot to the edge of the post in the 46th minute.

The match ended in a stalemate, however, which meant that Nigeria was placed fifth in a table of six teams after three matches in the 10-match competition. Nigeria, in three matches, has drawn all three.

The game marked newly appointed Finidi’s first game as Super Eagles coach.

Speaking on his decision not to field Boniface against South Africa last Friday, Finidi explained that the circumstances on the field of play prompted a change in plans.

“We thought about bringing him in, he was supposed to come in, but when we had Ajayi complain that he couldn’t continue, we had to reverse that,” Finidi acknowledged in a post-match interview on Friday.

The coach noted a tactical shift, ultimately leading to Boniface’s exclusion from the match. Boniface, who won the league title last season with Bayern Leverkusen, is seemingly recognised as the fans’ favourite to replace the injured Victor Osimhen.

However, Finidi was quick to reassure fans that the talented forward’s opportunity may still come. “We have another game definitely if he’s up and doing he’s going to play,” he added.

The match today against Benin will be the coach’s second match as Super Eagles boss.

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

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