• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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BusinessDay

Super Eagles captain Troost-Ekong eyes AFCON glory

Ekong-New

After Nigeria eliminated South Africa 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the semi-final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Super Eagles captain William Troost-Ekong has set his sight on lifting the AFCON trophy.

Troost-Ekong scored from the penalty to give Nigeria the lead on Wednesday cracker also noted that it would be an amazing moment for him and Nigerians to win the 2023 AFCON.

The last time Nigeria reached the AFCON final was in 2013 when they defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 to claim their third AFCON title.

“You dream about moments like that,” Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport Africa.

“I’ve seen it so many times. And I’ve closed my eyes. To actually be there on Sunday and have the chance to do that will be amazing.”

Nigeria were not among the favourite nations to win the trophy before the finals, due to their poor results in their opening two qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

However, the Super Eagles have been the top-ranked side at the tournament since the end of the Round of 16, where holders Senegal, Morocco and record seven-time champions Egypt all exited the stage.

Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro says he has always had faith in his side, who were the top scorers in qualifying for the finals with 22 goals.

“When I signed the contract, I said I want to win the Afcon,” the Portuguese told BBC Sport Africa.

“Either way, I don’t know if everybody believes or not. I have believed since the first moment.

“We haven’t won anything until now – we want to win the AFCON.”

After exiting South Africa, three-time champions, the Super Eagles will be aiming to seal a fourth AFCON title when they tackle hosts country Ivory Coast on Sunday.