Monday Jun 24, 2019. 12:00
Ghana and Benin will open their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group F campaigns with a meeting at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday 25 June, kick-off at 22:00 CAT.
Ghana have long been regarded as one of the continent’s football powerhouses and a haul of four AFCON titles is only bettered by Egypt and Cameroon.
However, the last of those triumphs arrived way back in 1982 and the West African nation is growing more and more impatient for a return to glory.
The current Black Stars team earned their place in the 2019 Nations Cup by topping Group F of the preliminaries, ahead of Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.
Their appearance at the last tournament in 2017 ended in the semifinals when they were ousted by eventual champions Cameroon.
Ghana are led by coach James Kwesi Appiah, who is currently in his second permanent tenure in charge of the team (his first included successful qualification for the 2014 World Cup).
His current crop of players includes established stars such as Asamoah Gyan, Jordan and Andre Ayew, Thomas Partey and Christian Atsu.
Benin, meanwhile, are making their fourth appearance at the AFCON and a first since the 2010 edition.
The Squirrels, who are led by coach Michel Dussuyer and feature the likes of Stephane Sessegnon and Steve Mounie, qualified as runners-up behind Algeria in their preliminary group.
In head-to-head stats, Ghana and Benin have met in 14 previous matches. The Black Stars have claimed seven wins compared to two for the Squirrels.
The teams’ most recent meeting was a 1-1 draw in an international friendly in May 2017.