Nigeria Super Eagles barely held out to salvage a goalless draw with a Tanzania team, who deserve...
Nigeria Super Eagles barely held out to salvage a goalless draw with a Tanzania team, who deserved more in this AFCON qualifier in Dar es Salaam on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles are now top of their qualifying group with four points from two matches as Egypt, who thrashed Tanzania 3-0 in their opening game in June, are away to Chad on Sunday.
It was not the debut Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh would have hoped for as his team were dominated for most part by a determined home team, who created the better chances but failed to put them away.
However, debutant Carl Ikeme in goal for Nigeria was outstanding to show where the pressure was in this AFCON qualifier. The home team were first to settle into this game and TP Mazembe star Mbwana Samatta forced a save from Ikeme after just 13 minutes, when he dashed past Solomon Kwambe only for the Wolves of England shot stopper to save.
Tanzania continued to push forward and in the 22nd minute, Samatta forced Ikeme to tip his goal-bound free kick for a corner. The Eagles response was quick as they almost went ahead against the run of play a minute later when skipper Ahmed Musa’s low drive from a free kick was turned away for a corner by a diving Tanzania goalkeeper Ally Mustafa.
Moses Simon could have given Nigeria an unlikely lead in the 38th minute, when a defensive mix-up freed from the left flank, but his final ball was not on target. Striker Emmanuel Emenike worked his socks off upfront for Nigeria, but he was often outnumbered or fouled for the Nigeria attack to be kept at bay for most of this encounter.
After a bright start by Nigeria in the second period, Tanzania again carved out the better chances as the game wore on. Nigeria were saved their blushes on the hour when a timely tackle deep inside their goal area ensured Tanzania did not make hay.
South Africa-based striker Mrisho Ngasa then headed wide in the 66th minute in front of an open goal and a minute later, Thomas Ulimwengu forced Ikeme to make a save at second attempt.
Late attacking substitutions of Anthony Ujah and Emem Eduok failed to turn the tide Nigeria’s way as Kenneth Omeruo did a yeoman’s job back in defence for the Eagles to run away with a point on the road.
Tanzania - Ally Mustapa - Shomari Kapombe, Haji Mwinyi, Nadir Haroub 'Cannavaro' (skipper), Kelvin Yondani, Himid Mao, Thomas Ulimwengu, Mudathir Yahya, Mbwana Samatta, Mrisho Ngasa (John Bocco 68), Farid Musa (Saimon Msuva 82)
Nigeria - Carl Ikeme – Kingsley Madu, Solomon Kwambe, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, - Izunna Uzochukwu, Obiora Nwankwo, Lukman Haruna (Sylvester Igboun 36), Moses Simon (Emem Eduok 70), Ahmed Musa (skipper), Emmanuel Emenike (Anthony Ujah 61)