The Super Eagles may not have won AFCON 2023, but William Troost-Ekong leaves the tournament with a few accolades.
Troost-Ekong, who gave Nigerians a scare ahead of their quarter-final tie against Angola, was in fine form throughout the competition and was a true warrior and leader of the team.
The performance of the former Udinese and Watford defender earned him the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
It was scant consolation for fans of the Super Eagles, but one he will cherish alongside the new record he set at the tournament.
Troost-Ekong is the all-time top-scoring defender at AFCON
Defenders are not known for scoring goals but denying attackers the chance to score, but like Sergio Ramos, William Troost-Ekong has added that to his retinue of skills.
At AFCON 2023, Troost-Ekong beat fellow Nigerian Stephen Keshi to the record.
The former late captain and coach of the Super Eagles held the record with four goals from five tournaments.
William Troost-Ekong is officially the highest-scoring defender in the history of AFCON with 5 goals.
— 49th. (@the49thstreet) February 11, 2024
Troost-Ekong scored his fifth goal of the tournament in the final to nudge Keshi's record out of the way.
The record is phenomenal, as Stephen Keshi played some midfield roles for the Super Eagles.
Troost-Ekong also joins the illustrious list of Nigerians to have won the AFCON Best Player award. He joins Christian Chukwu as the second Nigerian defender to win the award, Rashidi Yekini and Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
How Troost-Ekong broke Stephen Keshi's record record
Keshi scored his first Super Eagles goal at AFCON in 1982. He scored two goals in an ill-fated tournament where Nigeria sought to defend their title.
The brace came in the 27th and 84th minute of a 3-0 win over Ethiopia.
The other goals scored by Keshi came in a 2-2 draw in the 1984 quarter-final clash against Egypt. Nigeria clawed a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and win 8-7 on penalties.
Keshi scored his last AFCON goal in the opening game of AFCON 1992.
In the Super Eagles opening game, Samson Siasia gave Nigeria the lead before Jules Bocande equalized.
Nigerians who have won AFCON Best Player Awards in History.
2023: William Troost-Ekong 🇳🇬
2004: Jay Jay Okocha 🇳🇬
1994: Rashidi Yekini 🇳🇬
1980: Christian Chukwu 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/LHsE9X20vB
— Spotlight Abby (@Spotlight_Abby) February 12, 2024
Keshi scored a fantastic 89th-minute freekick to help Nigeria to win.
Troost-Ekong started his scoring for the Super Eagles in the 2019 AFCON. He scored the winning goal in the 89th minute of their 2-1 quarter-final win over South Africa.
Troost-Ekong scored his second AFCON goal in the group stage of a 2-0 win over Equatorial Guinea in 2021.
The PAOK defender scored three goals at the 2023 AFCON. One goal came via a penalty in the group stage against Ivory Coast.
He scored another penalty against South Africa in the semi-final and the last goal against the hosts in the final.
AFCON ALL-TIME TOP SCORING DEFENDERS
|Ali Musa Al-Beshari
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 week ago