Nigeria’s Super Eagles beat Madagascar 2-0 in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Group B match played at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Sunday.
It was not a convincing display for the star-studded Super Eagles, who raced into a two-goal lead before halftime.
Obafemi Martins opened scoring for the home team after 20 minutes when he got to the end of a loose ball on the top of the 18-yard box before he fired home past the impressive Madagascar goalkeeper.
Martins was again involved in the second Nigerian goal when he dribbled his way into the Madagascar box from the left before he delivered a low cut-back for Esperance striker Michael Eneramo to make hay with a tap-in.
Martins was again on target late in the second half, but Tunisian referee Jedidi Slim incorrectly disallowed this effort for a foul on the Madagascar goalkeeper.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who was mostly on holidays for the duration of the game, was called to make a finger-tip save with five minutes left on the clock. He scrambled away a goal-bound shot for a corner to the relief of the packed Calabar Stadium.
Both Eneramo and Martins had chances to give the Eagles a bigger home win.
Eneramo could have opened scoring as early as the first minute, but he stumbled when all alone with the goalkeeper, while the Madagascar shot stopper Masina made a point-blank save off Martins after the break.
Nigeria are now second in their group after Guinea ran away 4-1 winners also on Sunday in Ethiopia.
Both Guinea and Nigeria will square off in a decisive qualifier next month in Conakry.
There were full international debuts for former schoolboy international Stanley Okoro and Ahmed Musa, who finished top scorer in the Nigeria Premier League last season with 18 goals.