Watford defender William Troost-Ekong was delighted to get a win with Nigeria in their African Cup of Nations opening match.

The centre back and Super Eagles captain kept out Mo Salah's Egypt as they claimed a 1-0 victory at the start of the tournament.

Speaking to the club website, the defender said cutting off the supply to the Liverpool man was their gameplan.

“It was a great performance, for the team to start in such a way,” said Troost-Ekong.

“It was great to start the tournament off in this fashion. Obviously, everyone was talking about Mo Salah before the game and deservedly so because he is the man in form. I thought the boys did very well and we were unlucky not to score more goals.

“It was a great team effort and performance defensively because I think we cut off the supply to Salah, which was their game plan. Then any moments where he did have the ball, we did well to outnumber him, so he never really had any clear runs at goal bar one. I think we managed to control it well.”

Helping Troost-Ekong keep a clean sheet was new Watford recruit Maduka Okoye, who is on loan at Sparta Rotterdam for the remainder of the season before he joins up with the Hornets.

The centre-back was full of praise for the man between the sticks.

“I think he’s been very consistent since he came in, which can be quite rare for a young goalkeeper," he said. "I remember his first game where he made his debut against Brazil in Singapore, in a friendly game two years ago, and ever since he has been very consistent.

“He is always coming for the ball, talks a lot during the game and is reliable which is the main thing you want from someone behind you. He is a calming presence to our team and I’m really comfortable playing with him. I think he’s enjoying the opportunity to step up and secure his place as the No.1 for Nigeria.”

Having made it to the semi-finals at the last AFCON, and winning the third place playoff, Troost-Ekong has his eyes on going even further this year.

“I’ve set my sights on trying to go all the way," he said. "Last AFCON we got to the semi-finals and only missed out in the last minute. This time we want to do better, I don’t want to waste my time here because I would want to help Watford. I want to go and win because at least when I get back home, I have something to show for it. That’s my objective.

“The Nigerian fans are very passionate, and I think we have 220 million Nigerians – therefore you always feel the support. The opener was great because even though we are here in Cameroon, quite a lot of supporters made the trip down. We had our usual fan club that was here and maybe 80 per cent of the stadium were cheering for us. It felt like a home game – long may that continue.”