Troost-Ekong Named Player Of The Tournament At AFCON

February 21, 2024

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations always promised to be a good one, but nobody could prepare themselves for the mayhem the tournament had in store.

From shock results to managerial sackings, AFCON had it all and then some. But amid the chaos, one player in particular stood out: Nigeria’s captain, William Troost-Ekong.

All the successful sportsbetting sites recognised that AFCON 2023 was a tournament that Nigeria had a good chance of winning, which was reflected in the odds they offered. But naturally, with that comes pressure, Troost-Ekong was keen to embrace it all as captain of his country.

After a disappointing draw in their opening Group A game against Equatorial Guinea, the Super Eagles were keen to immediately get a win on the board, and in their way was eventual AFCON champions and the team that defeated Nigeria in the final, the Ivory Coast.

It was always going to be a tense affair between the two teams, even at such an early stage of the tournament, but Nigeria edged it 1-0, and who scored the game’s only goal?

That’s right, Troost-Ekong, from the penalty spot—a newfound weapon in the central defender’s arsenal.

The Super Eagles then won their next three matches in a row inside the ninety minutes, of which Troost-Ekong played a starring role in two of those at the back, with clean sheets every step of the way. Then came South Africa in the semi-finals.

Troost-Ekong was close to the AFCON finals.

It was crunch time. He took control. Scoring his tournament’s second goal and a vital penalty shootout. The Super Eagles were off to the finals.

The final was a repeat. The second Group A match, Nigeria’s win over Ivory Coast.

From start to finish, Troost-Ekong was a standout player. A brilliant header put the Super Eagles ahead; his third goal of AFCON 2023.

In the end, things didn’t go Troost-Ekong’s way. Ivory Coast landed two goals in the second half, snatching a 2-1 win for their third AFCON title. Despite the loss, Troost-Ekong was the talk of the tournament. His outstanding performances did not go unnoticed.

He was rightly acclaimed as the Player of the Tournament.

Troost-Ekong, 30, left Championship team Watford in the summer to head to Greece and begin a new challenge with PAOK Salonika.

So far, the centre-back has been somewhat of a bit part player, starting less than 50% of games for the Super League outfit.

However, on the back of AFCON, this could all change very quickly. And there have even been rumours of big money moves to Saudi Arabia, too.

Don't Miss