When Zimbabwe and Nigeria square off at the Huye Stadium on Sunday, the two teams will be trying to win their first match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles, who have defeated the Warriors six times in a row, will be looking to continue their winning ways and kickstart their qualifying campaign.
At Butare’s Huye Stadium, Zimbabwe capped up their qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup with a respectable draw against Rwanda.
The Warriors have not played in a meaningful match since January 2022, when they defeated Guinea 2-1 in Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations thanks to goals from Knowledge Musona and Kudakwashe Mahachi.
Since then, Baltemar Brito’s team has only played in one warm-up friendly match, which took place at the Botswana National Stadium in September. There, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Botswana.
On the other side, Lesotho held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Thursday, leaving them with a bitter taste of defeat in the Group C opening.
Motlomelo Mkwanazi broke the scoreless draw against the run of play to give Lesotho the lead in the 56th minute, but Semi Ajayi struck the back of the net 11 minutes later to force a sharing of the spoils. At the break, there was nothing separating the two teams.
Before then, Nigeria had won three straight matches in a competitive fashion, defeating Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau to take first place in Group A of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
After losing 1-0 at home to Guinea-Bissau in March, the Super Eagles have now gone six games in a row without a loss in all competitions, with four victories and two draws.
Nigeria, who did not participate in the 2018 World Cup in Qatar, will now try to step it up for their first World Cup appearance since that year, when they emerged from the group stages after winning just one of their three games.