The Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper was in superb form on his international debut as the Eagles failed to soar in Dar es Salaam
Tanzania held Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier played at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam.
There was no separating the two sides in 90 minutes with the impressive Carl Ikeme, who made his Super Eagles debut on several occasions denying the Taifa Stars a chance to take maximum points.
The towering Wolverhampton Wanderer shot stopper’s best moment was an amazing save in the 67th minute when he denied Thomas Ulimwengu with a long stretch before scrambling to Mrisho Ngassa’s follow-up around the post, with both shots coming from inside the six-yard box.
Without leading lights Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses and Gbolahan Salami, Sunday Oliseh’s men failed to break down Boniface Mkwasa’s well-drilled hosts who were fuelled by a scanty crowd that generated a tremendous atmosphere.
Captain Ahmed Musa showed a fine turn of pace to burst down the left and cut back for Emmanuel Emenike, only for the striker to be fouled to hand Sunday Oliseh’s men a free kick in the second minute of the games.
The resultant kick was not good enough to threaten goalkeeper, Ali Mustapha, who rarely threatened by the Eagles’ frontline. Not too long, the hosts got their first chance through Thomas Mlinwengu – and that seemed to knock off Nigeria out of their rhythm as they failed to create an opening of note for the remainder of the first half.
Mrisho Ngasa had a chance to open the scoring in the 13th minute, but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked as the Taifa Stars continued their dominance.
Not too long, Ikeme was then called into action to keep out Farid Musa’s close-range header after the striker had got on the end of captain Nadir Haroub’s dangerous free kick.
Nigeria went close to getting the curtain, but Mustapha did well to pluck Musa’s flick-on off the line before Mosee Simon was denied by a block in the area.
Oliseh introduced Sylvester Igboun for Haruna Lukman who seems to be lost in the midfield but that did not yield any result as the hosts dictated the pace from the middle.
The Super Eagles have now amassed four points following their 2-0 win over Chad on match day one.
Egypt will however overtake Nigeria at the summit of the standings if they defeat Chad today at Stade Omnisports Idriss Mahamat Ouya, N’Djamena.