AFCON 2023: William Troost Ekong Hails Super Eagles Maturity and Spirit in Wake of Angola Win

AFCON 2023: William Troost Ekong Hails Super Eagles Maturity and Spirit in Wake of Angola Win

Babajide Orevba, Jarryd Westerdale
updated at February 3, 2024 at 8:59 AM
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  • William Troost-Ekong helped Nigeria keep another clean sheet as they beat Angola
  • The Super Eagles have made the semi-finals in two of the last three AFCONs
  • Nigeria will face either Cape Verde or South Africa in the next round

The Super Eagles are one step away from their eighth AFCON final.

An Ademola Lookman goal decided an exciting quarter-final, reasserting Nigeria as the team to beat in Ivory Coast.

In the wake of their 1-0 victory against Angola, their central defensive rock was full of praise for his teammates, and he doubled down on his belief that they would go all the way.

William Troost-Ekong, Nigeria, Super Eagles, AFCON 2023, Semi-finals.
William Troost-Ekong has led by example, cementing Nigeria's defence and playing through the pain barrier for his country. Photo: @WTroostEkong.
Source: Twitter

William Troost-Ekong has been the lynchpin in a backline that has conceded just once at AFCON 2023 so far.

If Nigeria's resolute defence, which includes the increasingly popular Stanley Nwabali and the imposing Calvin Bassey, can secure a repeat in the next round, their strikers are sure to see them into the final.

The POAK defender is not allowing himself or his teammates to rest before the job is done. Following the win over Angola, he told Sports Brief and the gathered media:

"We are on the right trajectory. Game by game the team is showing a lot of maturity I think the team is showing great fighting spirit. We are defending like a very good team and we are creating a lot of chances like a very good team, so everything is heading in the right direction."

The team spirit has been exemplified by the Super Eagles captain, who admits to be playing through a niggling injury. He was clear in his desire to perform, though, saying:

"I don't wanna miss a minute of this tournament and I want to give my best for the team. I wanna make myself available all the time and I just think I just have to manage it."

Nigeria will wait in anticipation to see if they will face surprise package Cape Verde or Hugo Broos' Bafana Bafana in the semi-finals.

Osimhen says 'Talk is cheap'

Sports Brief recently reported on Victor Osimhen taking a subtle jab at Angloa after their quarter-final.

Angolan coach Pedro Goncalves claimed they were not afraid of Nigeria's big-club European players.

Osimhen used social media to acknowledge comments made before the game, albeit in a respectful manner.

Babajide Orevba photo
Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.
Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.