Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has admitted that the Super Eagles were fortunate to escape from Rwanda with a draw on Wednesday.
"You might say we were lucky - mostly in the last five minutes - not to have conceded a goal," Keshi told BBC Sport.
"Some factors went wrong but we will correct it later on," said the coach, with the return leg coming in June.
The game marked the competitive debut of winger Victor Moses, which means that the Wigan Athletic star can no longer play for England.
Moses, who represented England's junior sides in the past, had appeared to waver over which country to play for at senior level in recent months.
Taking charge of his first competitive match, Keshi was philosophical after his charges fired blanks against a side ranked outside Fifa's top 100, even if Yakubu Ayegbeni had a second-half strike ruled out for offside.
"This is not what we came for - a draw - but I would take a draw home," added the 1994 Nations Cup winner.
"It is much better than losing. I will then get my team ready for the second game, when they come to Nigeria."
Nigeria's international fortunes have been in decline in recent years, with the Super Eagles conspicuous by their absence from this year's Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
That failure led to the sacking of coach Samson Siasia, with the latter's onetime international colleague Keshi - who formerly led Togo and Mali - taking charge in October.
The second leg of the clash will take place on the weekend of 15-17 June, sandwiched between Nigeria's opening qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.