By Toby Prince
Nigeria needed a first half penalty goal from Musa and a second half masterpiece from Simon to beat the Menas of Niger at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt
Only five players who started the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania on Saturday got the nod after a disappointing barren draw in Dar es Salaam.
FK Anzhi Makhachkala man, Haruna Lukman, was punished for his poor showing at the weekend with Sylvester Igbonu, the player who replaced him on Saturday, preferred.
Rabiu Ibrahim, Anthony Ujah, Chima Akas, Usman Mohammed and Godfrey Oboabona were all handed starts.
Musa pressured as early as in the first minute but was neutralised by the more physical and powerful Menas defenders.
Ujah was awarded a rather soft penalty in the 10th minute which Musa dispatched to put Nigeria in front.
Sylvester should have scored in the 27th minute from a fine cross from Musa, but the player opted to go for glory instead of playing in a free Ujah.
Three minutes pass the half hour mark, Musa thought he had doubled Nigeria’s lead but was wrongfully ruled for offside.
Nigeria’s dominance lingered with Kenneth Omeruo heading wide from a free kick from Rabiu in first half added time.
Prince Agrreh replaced Mohammed at the interval with the Eagles keeping up the tempo and pace from the first half.
There were flashes of some nice interchanges from the visitors but none yielded fruits.
Emmanuel Emenike, Simon, Bature Yaro, William Troost-Ekong and Ikechukwu Ezenwa came on for Ujah, Musa, Sylvester, Solomon Kwambe and Ikeme respectively at different points in the second half.
Simon pounced on a defensive mix-up to volley a shot pass the Niger goalkeeper for Nigeria’s second with just five minutes to play.
A much relieved Oliseh who was elated to have recorded his first win praised his team for putting up a better showing.
“It was not just about the win but being organised,” Oliseh told SuperSports.
“The team is getting much better and the progression has also improved.”
About key players who have not yet featured for his new look side, he said: “There is lots of room for everyone but they have to keep playing regularly for their clubs.”