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Profiling the AFCON teams: Benin

Benin will be featuring in their 4th AFCON tournament. (PHOTOS/AGENCIES)

Benin will be featuring in their 4th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament and the first since 2010. Benin have never progressed past the group stages in any of their past three appearances.

In the 2019 edition, Benin is in Group F alongside Cameroon, Ghana and Guinea-Bissau.

Benin did not enter qualification for the first six AFCON tournaments between 1957 and 1970.

Their first attempt to qualification came in 1972 but they were unsuccessful.

The Squirrels then withdrew from taking part in the qualifiers for both 1974 and 1976 editions. Similarly in 1978, they did not enter into qualification for the finals.

They once again tried but failed to reach the 1980 edition before withdrawing from Libya 82.

From 1984 to 1994, Benin attempted but failed to qualify for the five AFCON tournaments during that period.

The Squirrels once again withdrew from taking part in the qualifiers for AFCON 1996.

In 1998, 2000 and 2001, Benin failed to qualify for the said editions.

After a long wait, they would eventually reach the finals in 2004, in Tunisia.

Benin made their AFCON debut in 2004.

However, their participation was short-lived as they lost all their three group games to finish bottom of Group D that featured Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

For 2006, Benin once again failed to qualify for the finals’ tournament.

2008 and 2010 would once again see Benin reach the finals’ tournament but again on both occasions, were eliminated at the group stage.

In 2008, they lost all their Group games while in 2010, Benin drew 2-2 with Mozambique to register their first and only point in AFCON history.

Coach

Michel Dussuyer

Dussuyer is a French coach and former footballer who has been the head coach of Benin since 2018.

Dussuyer has been Benin’s head coach since 2018.

He was an assistant coach at Cannes between 1996 and 2002. He was appointed as manager of the Guinea in 2002 leading them to the 2004 AFCON. Dussuyer then resigned in March 2004, citing family reasons.

In 2006, he was an assistant coach to Henri Michel at Ivory Coast before returning to Cannes as manager, from 2006 to 2007.

Dussuyer was then appointed as manager of Benin in June 2008 and was sacked in February 2010.

In May 2010 he returned as manager of Guinea. After leaving in late 2013, he was re-appointed in February 2014. After taking Guinea to the quarter-finals of the 2015 AFCON, he became manager of Ivory Coast in July 2015.

Dussuyer resigned from his role as Ivory Coast manager after the team failed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 AFCON.

He was appointed as head coach of Benin in August 2018

Star Player

Stephane Sessegnon

Sessègnon is a 35-year-old forward who plays at Turkish side Genclerbriligi.

He is a Benin international having starred for the nation at both the 2008 and 2010 editions of the AFCON.

Sessegnon has featured for several clubs in Europe including Creteil, Le Mans, PSG, Sunderland, West Brom, Montpellier and Genclerbrilig, scoring over 60 goals in 484 appearances.

For Benin, he has managed 21 goals in 71 caps.

Sessegnon has scored 21 goals in 70 games for Benin.

Projection: Group stages

Benin’s fixtures at AFCON 2019

-Ghana vs Benin, 25nd June
-Benin vs Guinea-Bissau, 29th June
-Benin vs Cameroon, 02th July

Benin’s 23-man squad for AFCON 2019

Goalkeepers: Fabien Farnolle (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey), Saturnin Allagbe (Niort, France), Cherif Dine Kakpo (Buffalos)

Defenders: Junior Salomon (Plateau United, Nigeria), Olivier Verdon (Sochaux, France), Khaled Adenon (Amiens, France) Moise Adilehou (Levadiakos, Greece), David Kiki (Red Star, France), Emmanuel Imorou (Caen, France) , Rodrigue Fassinou (ASPAC), Seidou Baraze (Yzeure, France)

Midfielders: Rodrigue Kossi (Club Africain, Tunisia) Jordan Adeoti (Auxerre, France), Mama Seibou (SC Toulon, France), Anaane Tidjani (US Ben Guerdane, Tunisia), Sessi D’Almeida (Yeovil Town, England), Stephane Sessegnon (Genclerbiligi, Turkey)

Forwards: Mickael Pote (Adana Demirspor, Turkey), Steve Mounie (Huddersfield, England), Desire Segbe Azankpo (Senica, Slovakia), Jodel Dossou (Vaduz, Lichtenstein), Cèbio Soukou (Hansa Rostock, Germany), David Djigla (Niort, La France)

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