By Johnny Edward
Former Super Eagles striker Victor Ikpeba has blamed a 'match rusty' Michael Babatunde for Nigeria's inability to find their rhythm for an hour in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Le Sao of Chad in their Group E AFCON opener in Kaduna.
The 2013 AFCON champions were unimpressive despite their 2-0 win over the Chadians who deserved a point according to the former AS Monaco ace.
Ikpeba added that the creative midfield role remains a puzzle Keshi needs to solve ahead of their next game.
"The Babatunde we saw play was not the player that starred for the Super Eagles at the World Cup," he said in his half-time analysis on SuperSport.
"There was no proper link with the midfield and the attack and that was largely to Babatunde's rustiness.
"The changes he made earned him the victory. It was not a vintage performance from the Eagles but the maximum points is what counts."
Goals from Warri Wolves forward Gbolahan Salami in the 63rd minute and an 80th minute penalty from Watford's 20-goal striker Odion Ighalo ensured Nigeria began their 2017 AFCON campaign on a winning note.
Next for the Super Eagles is an away trip to Tanzania.