Nigeria’s Super Eagles opened their campaign at the 2018 African Nations Championship with a 0-0 draw with Rwanda in Tangier. Kano Pillars midfielder Rabiu Ali missed the team’s best opportunity when he blazed over from in front of an empty net seven minutes to the first half break.
Ali’s miss was indeed the story of the evening for Salisu Yusuf’s wards as they missed chance after chance including being denied by the woodwork three times.
Shooting Stars starlet Sunday Faleye almost scored within the opening ten minutes when he impressively leapt to meet Emeka Ogbugh’s right wing cross. His header however canoned off the top of the cross bar. Faleye will then be denied ten minutes later by an onrushing Rwandan goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimiye who thwarted the attacker as he latched onto Rabiu Ali’s pass.
It was Ali however that missed the game’s best chance on 38 minutes when Ndayishimiye fumbled Osas Okoro’s cross into his path. The Kano Pillars man calmly lofted his effort over the unguarded net. Nigeria struggled to create clear-cut scoring opportunities in the second half and will have to be contented with a point ahead of their second game on Friday.
They face 2014 champions Libya at the same venue in their second group game and know they must be up to the task against the North Africans who currently lead Group C after their emphatic 3-0 drubbing of Equatorial Guinea in the day’s first game.