Benin face tricky trip to Bata

Benin face tricky trip to Bata
Benin skipper Stephane Sessegnon

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Jun 11, 2015. 23:07

Benin are travelling to Equatorial Guinea, where they will face the Nzalang in Bata in their Group C opener of the 2017 AFCON qualifiers on Sunday.

The Squirrels are aiming for a fourth appearance at the continental tournament, their first since the Angolan edition in 2010.

Newly-appointed coach Omar Tchomogo, a former Benin international, will have to do without injured striking duo of Rudy Gestede and Frédéric Gounongbé, while left-back Emmanuel Imorou and defensive midfielder Jordan Adéoti failed to report for international duties.

To boost his weakened attacking force, the 2004 and 2008 AFCON veteran decided to call on North-Africa based Mohamed Aoudou and Abdel Fadel Suanon, as left-back Antonin Kassa, midfielder Arsène Loko and winger pair of David Kiki and Joris Alhinvi could be making their senior debut with Benin.

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea will be out to prove they can qualify for the AFCON on the pitch, after owing their only two previous continental appearances to their hosting status.

Quarterfinalists in a competition co-hosted with Gabon in 2012, before sealing a fourth-place finish, again on home soil, three years later, the Nzalang will, however, head to their campaign opener with confidence.

The two sides have already met on three friendly occasions, with Equatorial Guinea leading two wins to one against the Squirrels.

The game will kick off at Estadio de Bata at 17h00 CAT on Sunday, while Mali and South Sudan will battle in Bamako in the other Group C fixture on Saturday.

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