Benin Waste 2-0 Lead and Draw with Mozambique
Benin started their African Cup of Nations adventure today in Benguela with a 2-2 draw against the Mambas of Mozambique. The draw means that Benin have their first ever point in Nations Cup history. However, I think few Benin supporters will be celebrating that point as the Squirrels had a 2-0 lead and failed to capitalize with their first ever win.
Unfortunately I was unable to watch and the match as I work, which will cause me to miss most of the tournament alas. So the game recap is mostly from the reports I have read.
Benin manager Michel Dussuyer deployed this line up which I think is precisely the 11 players I predicted would start:
Djidonou, Singbo, Chrysostome, Adenon, Boco, Tchomogo, Ahoueya, Ogunbiyi, Sessegnon, Pote and Omotoyossi.
Benin had a lively start to the game and created numerous chances early on and were rewarded in the 15th minute when Mouritala Ogunbiyi won a penalty after being brought down by the Mozambican keeper. Razak Omotoyossi stepped up to the penalty spot and buried it for a 1-0 lead, Benin’s first ever Nations Cup lead.
Benin would soon add a second goal with a bit of luck after Ogunbiyi was again causing danger and played a ball into Omotoyossi whose shot deflected off of Sessegnon leading to a poor own goal by Dario Khan who miscued his clearance. Up 2-0 it looked like it would be a good day for Benin.
Things turned though in the 28th minute when Benin keeper Yoaan Djidonou flapped at a corner allowing Lobo to head into an empty net to bring Mozambique back into the match. The half ended with Mozambique the more lively squad as Benin were trying to survive until halftime.
In the second half Omotoyossi had a great chance at scoring a second goal only to have Dario clear his goal bound effort away redeeming his earlier own goal. It would prove a vital intervention as in the 53rd minute Mozambique found their equalizer after a Djidonou clearance gifted Mozambique a throw in Domingues found Fumo in the penalty area to score on an empty net as Djidonou was out of position after his poor clearance. A real horror show from Djidonou today by the sounds of things.
Both sides had great chances at breaking the deadlock in the final 20 minutes with both Tico-Tico and Sessegnon both barely missing the target on what would have been certain goals. In the end neither side was able to find a winner and thus both are still winless all time in the Nations Cup.
For Benin it has to be a disappointment as this was a game they could have and probably should have won. Losing a two goal lead always hurts although at least this lead was lost relatively quickly and there was a lot of time left for Mozambique after they fell down 0-2.
Going forward Benin look to be in a lot of trouble now. There best chance at qualification was always by beating Mozambique and picking up points in one of the other games. Now they must beat either Egypt or Nigeria. Mission impossible by no means but a victory against either would be Benin’s greatest ever win.
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