Wilfried Zaha made his first start for the Ivory Coast against Uganda this afternoon, scoring the Elephants’ second goal of the afternoon to continue what has been an impressive start to life on the international stage.
Having grabbed as assist inside five minutes when making his debut for the African nation against Sweden on Sunday, Wilf was clearly still brimming with confidence when taking to the field against Uganda earlier today, resulting in a composed finish on the right-hand side of the penalty area following a powerful run onto a through ball.
Whilst Uganda don’t exactly represent the sternest of tests for Zaha and his new teammates, it’s worth remembering the well-worn footballing adage of only being able to beat what is put in front of you when deciding whether or not to pour scorn on his efforts out in Africa. Obviously, the upcoming group games against Togo, DR Congo and Morocco will present far greater challenges than anything today’s opponents can offer but for now, Zaha and co. will rightfully be pleased with their build-up heading into the tournament.
As Palace look to navigate their way through an entire month without their talisman, it’s certainly nice to see him making such a positive impact in the early stages of his time with his country. It goes without saying that Eagles fans everywhere would far rather have the winger in our squad for the crunch fixtures against the likes of West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth but if we are to be without his services for an extended period of time, it’s good to see him performing well rather than struggling for form in his new set-up.
I’m sure today’s strike will be the first of many for Wilf at international level.