Senegal 1-0 Benin
30 June Air Defence Stadium, Cairo
Senegal advanced to the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations for a fourth time in their history but the first since 2006.
Everton Midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye scored the all important goal that inspired the Lions of Teranga to a 1-0 victory over minnows Benin.
Senegal created the better chances in the contest but those who expected a dominant display from a side 66 places below them in the FIFA world rankings were left disappointed.
Mickael Pote had a couple of chances to put the Squirrels into the lead but his finishing was wanting. The 34 year old striker missed a golden opportunity in the 26th minute and should have scored straight after the recess bit hit a tame effort straight at custodian Alfred Gomis.
Sadio Mane had the ball in the net twice but was offside on both occasions and this was verified by the Video Assistant Referee being used for the first time in the continental showpiece.
In the 70th minute, Gueye passed the ball directly to Mane and then sprinted up field to virtually steal the ball off his teammate and tuck away a neat finish.
Gueye had another chance to double the Senegalese advantage eight minutes from time but was pulled back on the edge of the Benin penalty area by defender Olivier Verdon, who was sent off.
Following the defeat, Benin have still never won a game at the event, they failed in nine group games before 2019 and reached this year’s quarterfinals with three group stage draws and a shootout in the last 16.
Senegal will face the winner between debutants Madagascar or Tunisia in the semifinals. Their best achievement in the competition was finishing as runners up in 2002.
Other game on Wednesday
-Nigeria 2-1 South Africa
-Ivory Coast vs Algeri @7pm
-Madagascar vs Tunisia @10pm