‘Talented’ Brighton Winger Lights up AFCON Final for Ivory Coast – TechVerdant

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Brighton and Hove Albion winger Simon Adingra produced a man-of-the-match performance as he set up both goals in Ivory Coast’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria to win the Africa Cup of Nations. A return to the Premier League in this form could be crucial for the Seagulls.

Brighton Winger Simon Adingra Produces Scintillating AFCON Final Performance

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How Simon Adingra Inspired the Comeback

After not starting the first five games, Adingra’s 90th-minute equaliser against Mali in the quarter-finals earned him a spot in the starting eleven at the business end of the competition as he went on to win Young Player of the Tournament.

The 22-year-old started the semi-final and final on the left wing and his pace saw him have the beating of Nigeria’s right-back Ola Aina on multiple occasions on Sunday night. The former Royale Union SG man nearly opened the scoring in the first half but had his effort from a narrow angle saved well by Stanely Nwabali.

The Brighton winger’s corner in the 62nd minute found Franck Kessie, who headed home to equalise for the host nation after William Troost-Ekong gave Nigeria the lead in the opening period.

As the game looked to be heading for extra time, the “talented” youngster took the ball past Aina in the 81st minute and his delivery into the box was met by Sebastian Haller who poked home and won the game for Ivory Coast.

The winger had been looking for the Dortmund man all evening who had gone close twice earlier in the game thanks to Adingra’s work down the left-hand side.

Adingra’s Importance To The Seagulls

The Seagulls had lost just one of the five games Adingra was involved in before heading on international duty, which was away to title challengers Arsenal.

Roberto De Zerbi’s side now have just one win in their last five league games and have slipped one place in the league to ninth since Adingra’s departure.

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Despite operating on the left for his country, Adingra has been used predominantly on the right wing for the south-coast side and has been deployed in the number ten role at times.

The Ivorian has scored five goals and registered three assists in all competitions for Brighton, making him joint third for both goals and goal involvements this season.

How Adingra’s Return Will Impact Brighton

The winger will inject pace and creativity into a team that aside from a 4-1 victory over rivals Crystal Palace has struggled to find the net in the league in recent weeks.

The Palace victory ended a run of three league games without a goal and with top scorer Joao Pedro now out with a hamstring injury, the Seagulls could find goals even harder to come by.

The return of Adingra will impact the minutes of 19-year-old Facundo Buonanotte who has started the eight games since Adingra’s departure, mainly from the right-hand side.

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The African champion’s return coincides with a favorable run of fixtures for De Zerbi’s men with their next four league games against bottom-half sides. This run of games starts with a trip to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United just three weeks after their 5-2 victory at Bramall Lane in the FA Cup.

With Kaoru Mitoma returning from international duty last weekend, De Zerbi will hope the return of these wingers will help the Seagulls regain their early season momentum.

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