Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi and Super Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo said in the post match press conference that the Eagles played below expectation and that Nigeria were lucky not to have conceded a goal.
"I'm not satisfied with our performance. This is the first time the foreign-based players were playing with some local ones and this could be the reason for the performance that we saw. But I want to give credit to the Rwandan team.
They came all out and they played well. I'm satisfied with the local players we used and I hope that they continue this way."
We were lucky to escape defeat against Rwanda --Yobo
Also the Super Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo has admitted Nigeria were lucky not to lose a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rwanda Wednesday.
The match-up between Nigeria, ranked 56th in the world by FIFA and Rwanda, who are rated 108, finished scoreless at a packed Stade Regionale de Kigali with the host team guilty of throwing away several chances in a game they dominated.
"We were lucky to escape defeat against Rwanda," said Yobo, who set a new Nigeria record for international appearances when he won his 87th cap in Kigali.
Yobo was resolute in defence coupled with poor finishing by the Rwandese ensured the spoils were split.
"The only positive from this game was the performance of the players from the domestic league," added the Fenerbache centre back.
Ejike Uzoenyi from Enugu Rangers, Godfrey Oboabona of Sunshine Stars and Azubuike Egwuekwe from Warri Wolves started this encounter and Kano Pillars midfielder Gabriel Reuben was introduced in the second half as the midfield combination of Joel Obi and Dickson Etuhu failed to get going.
Eagles coach Stephen Keshi also admitted that the poor finishing of the hosts let his team off the hook.
"My consolation is that we did not lose," said Keshi, who was playing his first competitive game since he was named Nigeria coach in November.
"They had several chances to bury this game but they failed to do so."
The Eagles were not co-ordinated and their midfield never really got going.
"It was difficult to get the team to play as one because we only had one training session before the game," disclosed the Eagles coach.
"We will go back and continue to work hard ahead of the return leg match."
Rwanda were the better team with Tanzania-based midfielder Haruna Niyonzima outstanding.
The second leg match will be played in Abuja on June 17.