In form Super Eagles striker Paul Onuachu came on in the second half to score the only goal as Nigeria inflicted the first defeat the Benin Republic have suffered at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in eight years on Saturday.
The giant striker who’s scored 27 goals for Belgian side Genk got on the end of a set piece deep into added time to notch just his second goal for the Eagles in what was his ninth appearance.
Nigeria had already sealed a spot at the 2021 AFCON before kickoff after Lesotho and Sierra Leone played out a goalless stalemate in Maseru but the Eagles still made sure of all three points against the Squirrels in Porto Novo.
The game also saw Enyimba winger Anayo Iwuala came on for his debut in the second half.
Onuachu’s place in the Eagles had been the subject of plenty debate after he was initially placed on the standby list for the Eagles last round of qualifiers, only making the main squad when Sadiq Umar pulled out.
Gernot Rohr had hinted that a loss of patience over Onuachu’s inability to build on a promising start to his international career was behind Onuachu’s diminished standing in the squad.
But it was the striker that had the last laugh, justifying his selection as the Eagles celebrated qualification to Cameroon with a win and a game to spare.