Nigeria international William Troost-Ekong was handed his full Watford debut by Head Coach Vladimir Ivi for yesterday’s Championship clash against Derby County at Pride Park Stadium and he inspired The Hornets to a 1-0 win.
Watford get their third 1-0 Championship win of the season thanks to a piece of pure magic from teenage forward Joao Pedro.
Troost-Ekong started in a five-man defense, which also featured Jeremy Ngakia, Christian Kabasele, Ben Wilmot and Kiko Femenia.
The center back was rewarded with a debut after opting to leave the Nigeria camp in Austria shortly after their 1-0 loss to Algeria in an international friendly last week, so as to begin early preparations for the trip to the Rams.
The Nigeria international, who gave an above average performance, was however replaced in the 76th minute of the encounter.
A product of the Tottenham Hotspur Academy, Troost-Ekong was a non-playing substitute against Reading in the last game before the international break.
It was a baptism of fire for the Dutch-born defender as he battled with former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney, who was also named in Derby County’s starting line-up.
The victory moves Watford into the play-off places, with all the teams around them to play tomorrow.
Ivic’s side have scored three goals and conceded just once from their five games.
Though Troost-Ekong featured in the U21 Premier League during his Tottenham Hotspur days, this is his first competitive match in English football at senior level.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles striker Isaac Success is still recovering from injury and has been left out of the Hornets 18, while Nigeria U23 international Tom Dele-Bashiru is a long-term injury absentee.