Goals from Victor Osimhen and Samuel Kalu were all the Super Eagles needed to sail past the Squirrels of Benin in the AFCON 2021 qualifier opening group game at the Goodwill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday.
The Nigerian side came from behind to beat Benin 2-1 to top Group L, while Sierra Leone and Lesotho shared spoils in Freetown.
Nigeria suffered a blow after just three minutes in when sloppy defending allowed Stephane Sessegnon beat Daniel Akpeyi to put the visitors ahead.
Nigeria levelled scores from the spot, after Ola Aina was hacked down in the vital area. Osimhen stepped up and sent Fabien Farnolle the wrong way.
The Nigerian lads upped their ante after the restart and sustained pressure on the opposition before Kalu beat the goalkeeper with a low strike into the bottom left corner in the 63rd minute.
The Squirrels, however, nearly grabbed an equaliser late on when Jordel Dossou pranced through the Nigerian defence and crashed a powerful shot off the under side of the crossbar.
At the other end, Farnolle also palmed away a sizzling drive from Alex Iwobi in the closing stages as Nigeria opened their qualifying adventure with a victory.