Nigeria reignited their African Nations Cup hopes with a narrow victory over Benin in an entertaining game in Benguela.
Ayegbeni Yakubu's spot-kick four minutes before the break was enough to separate the sides.
Nigeria are now level on points at the top of Group C with Egypt, who face Mozambique later. Benin are rock-bottom.
The match got off to a bright start and Nigeria slowly started to take control but it was to be Benin who had the first decent chance as Seidath Tchomogo saw his 25-yard effort fly narrowly wide of the left upright.
Nigeria knew they had to win to boost their chances of progressing but wasted a glorious opportunity in the 15th minute.
Yakubu was sent through on goal but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, he sent a rasping shot wide in a real let-off for Benin.
The Nigerians were almost made to instantly pay for their profligacy when Benin won a free-kick on the edge of the area but Stephane Sessegnon could not get his attempt to dip enough and it flew over the crossbar.
Sessegnon went closer in the 39th minute when he sent a fabulous drive crashing off the bar.
However, Nigeria were to take the lead four minutes from the break. Benin goalkeeper Rachad Chitou did well to beat out Djiman Koukou's attempt but in the goalmouth scramble it fell to Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke who crossed in towards Peter Odemwingie.
Romuald Boco was adjudged to have handled Odemwingie's header and Yakubu sent the resulting penalty straight down the middle to give Nigeria the lead.
Benin came out after the break desperate for the equaliser and almost got it ten minutes after the restart when the ever-dangerous Sessegnon set up Nouihoum Kobena only for the Squirrels to once again be denied by the woodwork.
Nigeria thought they had doubled their lead shortly after the hour mark as a superb ball by Obasi Ogbuke released Victor Obinna just moments after the Malaga striker had come off the bench.
However, Chitou was quick off his line and did well to keep his side very much in the game.
The Super Eagles should have sealed the result 15 minutes from time but Obasi Ogbuke headed wide from close range. However, Nigeria clung on to take all three points.