5 Super Eagles Stars Who Played the AFCON 2023 Final With Injuries

5 Super Eagles Stars Who Played the AFCON 2023 Final With Injuries

Chukwu Ikechukwu
February 25, 2024 at 9:17 AM
In this article:
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Ola Aina logo
O. Aina
Nottingham Forest logoDNigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Stanley Nwabali logo
S. Nwabali
-GNigeria logo
  • Some Super Eagles players played the Africa Cup of Nations final with injuries
  • Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 2-1 to win the 2023 AFCON final
  • The defeat against the hosts was Nigeria’s fifth in an AFCON final

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has come and gone, with Ivory Coast emerging as champions after the hosts defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the final of the competition.

It has now been reported that the Super Eagles team had some injured players who featured in the final against the Elephants, leading to the under-par performance of the three-time AFCON winners.

Super Eagles, Nigeria, AFCON, Ivory Coast
Super Eagles players receiving their silver medals after losing the AFCON final to Ivory Coast. Photo by Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

According to Soccernet, William Troost-Ekong publicly admitted to struggling with fitness, while Victor Osimhen showed unwavering commitment to the team's purpose despite difficulties with his recovery from an intestinal problem

Coach Jose Peseiro had featured the same starting eleven in the competition from the second group game against Ivory Coast up until the final, causing fatigue and injury to the players.

Here, Sports Brief lists the Super Eagles players who were battling with injuries in the final of the AFCON against the hosts

Super Eagles players with injuries

1. William Troost-Ekong

Super Eagles captain Troost-Ekong did not participate in Nigeria's rehabilitation exercises during the AFCON campaign.

Kenneth Omeruo also replaced the 30-year-old defender in the match against Guinea-Bissau.

Troost-Ekong later addressed rumours about his injuries during the Round 16 game against Cameroon, stating his commitment to managing himself and being available for future matches.

2. Victor Osimhen

Napoli forward Osimhen, who was seen suffering with his recovery throughout the competition, continued to contribute to the team's success.

Despite numerous missed chances in the competition, Osimhen scored Nigeria's first goal of the tournament and showed persistence after several of his goals were rejected.

3. Zaidu Sanusi

During the tournament, Porto FC defender Sanusi was said to have had a shoulder injury, forcing him to miss Nigeria's match against South Africa.

Bright Osayi-Samuel replaced him in the lineup. When Sanusi returned to his team, he had an ACL injury during Porto's match against Estrela, forcing him out for several months.

4. Ola Aina

Aina garnered plaudits for his performances at the 2023 AFCON, being named the tournament's best right-back.

Concerns were raised regarding his performance in the final against the Ivory Coast, and later reports confirmed that he had incurred an injury during the semi-final against South Africa.

5. Stanley Nwabali

Super Eagles goalkeeper Nwabali performed admirably throughout the tournament before being substituted against Cameroon due to a knock.

Despite his discomfort, the Chippa United goalie continued to play in consecutive matches, proving his dedication to the club despite injury worries.

Yakubu Aigbeni defends Alex Iwobi

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has asked Nigerian football fans to quit comparing Alex Iwobi to former captain Jay Jay Okocha.

Despite helping the Super Eagles finish second in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, Iwobi was heavily criticised by Nigerians.

The Fulham star was singled out for criticism as hosts Ivory Coast rallied from behind to deny the Eagles a fourth continental crown.

Chukwu Ikechukwu photo
Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..