Rabiu Ali © Backpage Pix
Nigeria failed to claim a win as they drew 0-0 against Rwanda in their opening Group C match of the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangiers, Morocco, on Monday.
The stalemate leaves the Super Eagles placed at No 2 in the group on one point behind Libya, who earlier beat Equatorial Guinea 3-0.
Nigeria’s next encounter is against the Mediterranean Knights on Friday.
Despite a slow start, the Super Eagles pushed forward and hit the cross bar through Adelemi Faleye in the 10th minute with a header.
Coach Salisu Yusuf’s men did all the right things in the match, but their decision making in the final third left a lot to be desired as Stephen Eze and Faleye missed two clear-cut opportunities.
In the 40th minute Nigeria’s Rabiu Ali struck the cross bar with a fantastic strike from a long distance.
It was 0-0 at halftime.
The Nigerians scored in the 58th minute through Eze after they were awarded a set piece, but it was disallowed for offside.
Towards the last 20 minutes, the Amavubi grew in confidence and Eric Rutanga saw his curling effort from a set piece missing the top right corner by inches.
In the 80th minute, Nigeria were unlucky not to score as Eze saw his well-taken header coming off the left post once again.
There were no goals as the clash ended goalless.
Rwanda walked away with a point to sit at No 3 from one match – their next match is against Equatorial Guinea this Friday.
Nigeria: (0) 0
Rwanda: (0) 0
Nigeria: Ezenwa, Okoro, James, Atuloma, Okogbue, Eze, Ogbugh, Ifeany (Oladapo 60’), Okpotu (Mustapha 81’), Ali, Faleye (Okechukwu 83’)
Rwanda: Ndyishimiye, Bizimana, Mukunzi, Biramahire (Nshuti 54’), Niyonzima, Iradukunda, Usengimana, Manzi, Rutanga, Mubumbyi (Mico 47’), Kayumba