Nigeria played out a goalless draw away to Tanzania in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
Carl Ikeme had an impressive debut in goal for the Super Eagles, who were placed on the back-foot for most of the game, foiling torrents of goalscoring plots by Tanzania.
Individual efforts from Emmanuel Emenike, captain Ahmed Musa and Moses Simon could not result to goal for Nigeria, who now top Group G standing with three points, with Egypts scheduled to play Chad on the road on Sunday.
Tanzanians were most especially not pleased with the resolute showing by Wolverhampton Wanderers’ goalkeeper Ikeme, who, in another individual effort, rescued a point for the three-time African champions.
TP Mazembe’s Mbwana Samata twice tested Ikeme in the opening quarter, first dashing past Solomon Kwambe to shoot at the Eagles goal, before failing to add power to his header from close range.
The Taifa Stars came closest to scoring in the 66th minute but Mrisho Ngasa’s imperfect glancing header sailed over the bar.
Ikeme was called to action a couple of minutes later, making good use of his quick reflex to deny a Thomas Ulimwengu low shot from the far post.
While Nigeria struggled to impact on the game at the high-altitude Benjamin Nkaffa National Stadium, Tanzania dominated the flanks and looked to punish their guests on the counter on several occasions and could have deserved gotten more from the eventual scoreline.