Stephen Keshi’s side struggled to make a breakthrough before running out 2-0 winners.
It was a game of two halves for Nigeria as they labored to a 2-0 win over Chad in their opening game of qualifying for the 2017 African Nations Cup.
Is the defence settled?
“One of the areas that cost Nigeria qualification for 2015 was defence. Lacking a specialist right-back, riddled with inconsistencies at centre-back and uncertain of his best left-back, Stephen Keshi was left to try new partnerships almost every game, with the same shaky performances regardless.
Not this time: Of Stephen Keshi’s “regular” defensivequartet, young Kenneth Omeruo was the only one who started. Two of the other three were debutants while the other had only played 12 minutes of international football prior to this game.
But to see them play, one would be forgiven for thinking they were born with the green shirt already on. William Troost-Ekong excelled at centre-back. Leon Balogun bombed up and down the right touchline without giving anything away, and at left back, Kingsley Madu’s composure was exemplary.
It’s safe to say that anyone who did not start this game is now an outsider looking in. Oh, and Vincent Enyeama again showed why he is a demi-god. His point-blank save from inside the six-yard box defies adjectives. On the day he moved in front to become the record appearance-holder for Nigeria at 101 caps. Here’s to another 101!”
By Colin Udoh
the editor of KickOffNigeria.com and African football correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @ColinUdoh.