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AFCON 2023: Hope rising as Alhassan and Troost-Ekong return against Cameroon



By Monsurah Olatunji

Nigeria has received injury boosts ahead of their tasty Round-of-16 clash against Cameroon in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday.
Midfielder, Alhassan Yusuf, and vice-captain William Troost-Ekong have returned to training after both missed the previous match.
Alhassan suffered a knock during the opening clash against Equatorial Guinea, which kept him out of subsequent matches like the two victories against 2023 AFCON host, Ivory Coast, as well as Guinea-Bissau.
The Royale Antwerp defensive midfielder was a late addition to the AFCON team to replace injured Wilfred Ndidi who couldn’t make the trip.
The Kano-born talent was considered one of the best Nigerian player on the pitch in the opening match.
Although, in his absence, players like Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo, and Alex Iwobi stepped up to manage the midfield against Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau, resulting in two victories for the 2013 AFCON champions.
Also making a return is PAOK defender, Troost-Ekong who missed the Super Eagles’ last group match victory against Equatorial Guinea.
The vice-captain played a crucial role in Nigeria’s victory against Côte d’Ivoire scoring from the penalty spot but had to train separately before the Guinea-Bissau clash after picking up a knock, that saw Kenneth Omeruo stepped up in his absence.
However, recent photos from their training sessions reveal both Yusuf and Troost-Ekong are back with the team, which raises hopes for the Nigerian squad as they gear up for the Round of 16 clash.

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