The three-time African champions were stunned by their less fancied opponents on Thursday night, but their German manager believes they will seize the chance to make amends on Sunday
Head coach Gernot Rohr is convinced that the Super Eagles will put behind the disappointment of falling to defeat on home soil when they face the Central African Republic again on September 10.
In one of the biggest football shocks on the continent, 120th-ranked CAR claimed a historic 1-0 win over the 2013 Afcon kings at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
The Super Eagles dominated possession and wasted several goalscoring chances before Karl Namnganda profited from a defensive mixup to power a fine winning effort past goalkeeper Francis Uzoho in the 90th-minute of the game.
It is Nigeria’s first loss in the World Cup qualifying series in over two decades.
Despite the embarrassing defeat, the Super Eagles remain top of Group C with six points from three matches, but they are now only two points ahead of the Cape Verde Islands after the Blue Sharks edged Liberia 2-1 in the other group match.
Rohr admits his players are disappointed with the result and could endure a painful night while suggesting they were unlucky after giving their all.
However, the German tactician believes he has seen enough fighting spirit in his charges to be optimistic of a better outing when the two teams square up again in four days.
“We are still ahead in the group, and in three days’ time, I believe we will be able to win the match,” Rohr told Goal.
“It will not be in Central Africa; it will be in Cameroon and on a very good pitch.
“Also, I think the fighting spirit of the team is still there. I hope in the next game; we will be luckier than today.
“There will be some changes. Already, there are some injuries, and I don’t know if Kelechi [Iheanacho] is able to play because he had a knock.
“We have some players who are tired because they ran a lot and were fighting as always. This defeat will surely make their recovery more difficult.
“They will not sleep well tonight, but we have to recover and prepare for Sunday’s game which we must win.”
The Super Eagles are scheduled to travel to Douala, a coastal city in Cameroon, on Saturday to honour the return leg of their clash with the Central Africans.
CAF had banned the CAR from hosting any World Cup qualifiers on home soil after ruling that none of their football pitches is fit for international matches.