Nigeria’s Super Eagles Monday afternoon pipped West African rivals Cote D’Ivoire 1-0 in a final pre-tournament test match at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa.
Ifeanyi Matthew got the only goal of the game just before half time as both sides wrapped up their preparations ahead of the African Nations Championship billed to kick off on the 16th of January in Rwanda.
The first half was keenly contested by both sides though the Eagles had more clear chances compared to their opponents.
Ikechukwu Ibenegbu’s shot hit the crossbar earlier on after great work from Tunde Adeniji from the right flank.
Also, Tunde Adeniji and Ezekiel Bassey were both guilty as they wasted opportunities to take the game beyond the Ivorians.
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, on two occasions bailed out Nigeria with point blank saves while a goal line clearance from Stephen Eze and later Chima Akas ensured Nigeria hung on before taking the lead through Ifeanyi Matthew.
Though both teams stepped up the pace in the second half, there were no goals to show for their effort as Coach Sunday Oliseh’s side held on to their slim lead.
The victory against Cote d’Ivoire is the second victory for the home-Eagles in the pre-CHAN tournament in Pretoria, after defeating Ama Tuks 3-0 and played a 1-1 draw with fellow CHAN bound team, the Palancas Negras of Angola.
Nigeria is expected to hit Rwanda on January 15 three days to their opening game against Niger Republic at the Stade Regional Nyamirambo, Kigali in Rwanda.