Simon Adingra shone as Ivory Coast won the Africa Cup Of Nations on Sunday, beating Nigeria 2-1 in Abidjan.
The 22-year-old was named Player of the Match after assisting both of his country’s goals in the final, whipping a deep corner towards the back post which Franck Kessie nodded home before fizzing a fantastic cross into the six-yard box which Sebastian Haller steered into the top corner.
Ivory Coast had to come from behind on the night after William Troost-Ekong scored for Nigeria in the first half, but Les Elephants were by far the better team and their second half goals were thoroughly deserved.
Simon Adingra is an AFCON WINNER! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/B0piwbISk1— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) February 11, 2024
It was the culmination of a rollercoaster campaign for Ivory Coast, who sacked head coach Jean-Louis Gasset after consecutive defeats in the group stages, and had to rely on Morocco beating Zambia to even reach the knockout rounds after their 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea.
Simon was brought into the side by Emerse Fae, who started the tournament as Ivory Coast’s assistant coach before replacing Gasset, and our winger repaid his stand-in manager’s faith with the goal which secured the host nation a 2-1 extra-time victory over Mali in the quarter-finals.
That goal, as well as his two assists in Sunday’s showpiece event, meant Simon was named Best Young Player of the Tournament – a second award to go with his AFCON title. Congratulations, Simon!