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Let Me Be, Finidi Warns Nigerian Fans After 1-1 Draw

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Super Eagles’ coach Finidi George expressed his frustration with fans and media after the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with South Africa in the 2026 World Cup qualifier on Friday.

George, a former Eagles star player, firmly stated that team selection should be left to the coaching staff.

The absence of injured Napoli striker Victor Osimhen led many fans to expect Bayer Leverkusen forward Victor Boniface to start.

Boniface has had a stellar season so far given his impressive record of 21 goals and 10 assists in all competitions.

However, George chose to start Paul Onuachu instead.

As the match progressed, fans loudly called for Boniface’s introduction, but their wishes were not fulfilled as the game ended in a draw.

He said, “We change a player when we know how to change them. We know that everybody is a coach,” George said during the press conference.

“It’s true everybody is a coach, people can see when they are in the stands. When you sit there you can see anything, but we are focused on this job.”

George explained his decision-making process, noting that unexpected situations can affect planned substitutions.

“Onuachu stayed a little bit longer, it’s our own decision. Allow us to do our jobs.

“We wanted to introduce Boniface and Moffi, but Ajayi had a knock and we had to take him off and introduce Moffi and Onyedika,” he added.

Addressing the persistent calls for different players from fans and media, George was adamant that the coaching staff knows best.

“The fans and media would shout for different players, if they don’t perform well, the shout will be, ‘take him off’. Allow us to do our jobs,” he stressed.

The draw against South Africa in Uyo marked the Super Eagles’ third consecutive tie in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

This result leaves the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finalists in fifth place in their group with just three points, one point ahead of bottom-placed Zimbabwe.

Surprisingly, least fancied Lesotho tops the group with five points, followed by Rwanda, Benin, and South Africa, each with four points.

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