Nigeria opened their African Nations Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory away to Chad, who proved a tough opponent in Saturday's Group G clash.
The Super Eagles, who won the tournament in 2013 but failed to qualify for the following edition two years later, struggled to carve out openings against a resolute Chad side for long periods.
Gbolahan Salami finally put Nigeria ahead two minutes past the hour mark when he blasted a powerful shot into the roof of the net after a pull-back from Michel Babatunde.
Nigeria were awarded a controversial penalty which Odion Ighalo converted 11 minutes from time to put the result beyond doubt, with the referee's decision sparking furious protests from Chad players.
The visitors finished with ten men after Ogenyi Onazi was dismissed for a wild challenge on an opponent.
Record seven-time winners Egypt host Tanzania in Alexandria in the other Group G game on Sunday.
In Group B, Angola secured an impressive 4-0 home win over Central African Republic, thanks to a brace from Gelson and two penalties from Dolly Menga and Gilberto.
Uganda defeated Botswana 2-0 in Group D, with Geofrey Massa opening the scoring on 55 minutes and Brian Umony wrapping up the win 11 minutes later.
Zambia were held to a surprise 0-0 draw at home to Guinea-Bissau in Group E while Malawi played out a 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe in Group L.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)