AFCON 2023: Michael Essien Applauds Ivory Coast Star Following Victory Against Nigeria

AFCON 2023: Michael Essien Applauds Ivory Coast Star Following Victory Against Nigeria

Isaac Darko
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Michael Essien logo
M. Essien
Sabail logoMGhana logo
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Nigeria logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Franck Kessié logo
F. Kessié
Al-Ahli SFC logoMIvory Coast logo
Sébastien Haller logo
Borussia Dortmund logoFIvory Coast logo
Simon Adingra logo
Brighton Hove Albion logoFIvory Coast logo
  • Michael Essien has heaped praises on Brighton's Simon Adingra
  • The youngster emerged as one of the revelations at AFCON 2023
  • He provided two assists as Ivory Coast won the African showpiece

Ghanaian football icon, Michael Essien, has extended his congratulations to Simon Adingra, a product of the Right to Dream Academy, for his pivotal role in Ivory Coast's triumph at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

Adingra, currently plying his trade for Brighton in the English Premier League, showcased his talent by starting for the Elephants in the AFCON final against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday night at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara.

Demonstrating remarkable skill and performance, the 22-year-old played a significant role throughout the match, providing crucial assists for Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller to score in the second half.

Michael Essien, Simon Adingra, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, AFCON 2023.
Michael Essien has singled out Ivory Coast winger Simon Adingra for praise after their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final win over Nigeria. Photo by Simon Hofmann.
Source: Getty Images

These goals propelled the West African giants to stage a remarkable comeback, securing a 2-1 victory over Nigeria and clinching the coveted trophy.

Essien heaps praises on Adingra

Essien, who shares a connection with Adingra from their time at FC Nordsjaelland, expressed his admiration for the youngster's stellar performance after the match.

“What a player, Felicitation Simon Adingra,” the Chelsea legend wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

How Ivory Coast beat Nigeria in AFCON final

Despite starting strongly with the crowd's fervent support for an early goal, it was the Super Eagles who struck first, courtesy of captain William Troost-Ekong, named the Most Valuable Player of the 2023 AFCON, who capitalised on a corner kick to give his side the lead.

In the second half, the AFCON hosts intensified their efforts and found the equaliser through former Barcelona midfielder, Kessie, who headed home from close range off a corner kick.

According to CAFOnline, Haller then sealed the comeback with a stylish finish, converting a pass from Simon Adingra.

The Simon Adingra story

Before becoming a Premier League player and an Ivorian pearl, Adingra had to go through an ordeal at just the age of 12 before realizing his dream, Sports Brief reported earlier.

The youngster's family had to raise 300 Euros to pay the man as part of the deal for his son to pursue his football career.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)