Benin to cause another upset?

Benin to cause another upset?
Cheikhou Kouyate of Senegal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals last 16 match between Uganda and Senegal at Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 05 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by BackPageTXT

Monday Jul 08, 2019. 12:00

Benin will look to open the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals with another upset when they face Senegal at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.

Senegal earned their place in the last eight with a 1-0 win over Uganda in the previous round. Sadio Mane scored the only goal of the game, though he also missed a penalty and still seems to be short of his best form.

Nonetheless, the Teranga Lions enter the match as the clear favourites, given their status as the continent’s top-ranked team and the quality at the disposal of coach Aliou Cisse.

“We won against a strong team. We scored a goal and defended many times in front of a difficult opponent,” said the Senegal boss, who added: “We have to prepare for the next round now which will be much more difficult.”

Benin have been the surprise package of the 2019 AFCON. Securing a first-ever progression beyond the group stage was a great moment for the Squirrels, but they put that in the shade on Friday when they eliminated one of the most impressive teams, Morocco, from the competition.

The teams drew 1-1 after extra time in their last 16 clash – with Moise Adilehou’s goal cancelled out by Youssef En-Nesyri – before Benin triumphed 4-1 on penalties.

"Morocco are a very strong team but we mentally prepared ourselves well and luck was on our side tonight,” said coach Michel Dussuyer.

"Playing with one man less was difficult and we will try to make amends for Khaled Adenon, who will miss the next match. I thank my boys for the remarkable efforts made tonight, I think we can continue this beautiful dream.”

In head-to-head stats, Senegal and Benin have met in six previous matches. The Teranga Lions have claimed four wins compared to one for the Squirrels, while one game was drawn. The teams’ most recent clash was a friendly in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in January 2008 which Senegal won 2-1.

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