Odion Ighalo, who came in as a second-half substitute, saved the Eagles blushes with the only goal of the game in the 77th minute after a creative assist from Ola Aina.
"We knew Burundi were unbeaten in the qualifiers, and we knew the first matches would be hard".
The Shanghai Shenhua forward had been on the pitch only four minutes in Egyptian Mediterranean city Alexandria when he struck the 77th-minute victor. Can the three-time winners get off to a winning start? First up Nigeria! Some familiar faces in the Super Eagles line up!
Good evening! Welcome to the Live Updates of Nigeria Vs Burundi from the African Cup of Nations.
Rohr has no injury issues to contend with before the competition and will expect a positive result against a side ranked 89 places below Nigeria in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings.
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The soft-spoken coach, however, believed that Nigerians are yet to see the true potential of the Eagles and the best time to assess them would be at the end of the group stage matches. T&C's APPLY. BET NOW!
Burundi also kept probing as their standout midfielder of the game, Bigirimana went for goal with a free kick from way out but Nigeria goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi managed to bundle the ball away.
Nigeria, back at the Cup of Nations after failing to qualify for the last two editions, dominated first-half possession as anticipated but seldom threatened to score.
Arsenal's Alex Iwobi and Villarreal 20-year-old Samuel Chukwueze offered the Super Eagles' main attacking threat, but Gernot Rohr's side were frustrated by a resolute and organised Burundi side - captained by Stoke City striker Saido Berahino - until Ighalo's introduction.
Nigeria's forward Odion Ighalo (L) celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Burundi at Alexandria Stadium on June 22, 2019.