Stephane Sessegnon

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Benin aim to topple Pharaohs

Posted: 19 January 2010 Time: 09:51

Benin are all fired-up to get their first-ever win in the Africa Cup of Nations against continental heavyweights Egypt tomorrow.

The Squirrels are third in Group C with a point from two matches, but still have a chance of progressing to the next round if they shock the African champions and second-placed Nigeria lose to Mozambique.

“We have not given up yet because we still have a match to play and if we get the results we wish for, we could still remain in the tournament. We will fight till the end,” says Benin coach Michel Dussuyer.

Benin have already pulled off a shock result in the qualifiers when they piped the Black Stars of Ghana 1-0 at home in September courtesy of a late winner by youngster Mohammed Aoudou.

Six-time champions Egypt, on the other hand, will be hoping to extend a new record of going unbeaten in 15 matches in the championship since the 2004 tournament, where they last lost 2-1 to bitter regional rivals Algeria.

The previous record of 14 games without defeat was held by Cameroon, who achieved this record between 1984 and 1988. The Pharaohs are top of Group C after they recorded maximum points from their first two matches against Nigeria and Mozambique.

They became the second team after Ivory Coast to reach the last eight in Angola and as a result coach Hassan Shehata will give several fringe players a run out against the Squirrels tomorrow (Wednesday).

Shehata has disclosed that first-choice goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary will, along with several other key players like Al Ahly central defender Wael Gomaa, be rested and so afford him an opportunity to assess the likes of ENPPI midfielder Abdelaziz Tawfik and Moatasem Salem from Ismailia.

The Egypt coach has bemoaned the lack of quality goalkeepers in the country, even suggesting that foreign goalkeepers be banned from the domestic championship so that young home-grown goalkeepers get a better chance to come through.

Skipper Ahmed Hassan (34), will also be in action for his 169th cap to equal the all-time Egyptian record set by striker Hossam Hassan.

Benin will be missing their biggest star, Stephane Sessegnon of Paris Saint-Germain through suspension.

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 10:08 am
Just thinking aloud............Why can't we consider having an equal number of local and foreign-based players in our next 22-man squad ( may be for the world cup) - a local substitute for a foreign player in each position in a team of 11 that will be fielded. That should surely fire up some competition. The foreign-based will not want to be displaced by a local - he will condier it a "disgrace" and therefore do everything to avet this while the local will go all out to displace his foreign counterpart to get recognition at the biggest stage. Surely such competition can only bring out the best in our team. What do you guys think?
posted: 12:30 pm
@Shessy, I think u should visit the nearest psychiatrist. This article is about Benin and Egypt. Why then do u feel the need to comment about Cameroon w/cup squad?
posted: 12:38 pm
Hmmm this is becoming interesting. It is normal for teams who have qualified prior to their last group match to field fringe players however with the Benin Coach boasting and firing his boys up and with the Egyptian Fringe players going into the game to prove that they can break into the main team, I see a trilling encounter.

I dont think that coach Michel Dussuyer realizes that Nigeria only needs a draw to qualify no matter the outcome of BENIN/EGYPT game. Mozambique must win by a wide margin to give themselves any chance should Benin win against EGypt which i dont really see happening.

It doesn't mean that because the SE are sleeping so any team can pull their tail.

EAGLES will fly again starting from Wednesday.

posted: 06:47 pm
ken ghaddafi, been following your comments here .i must confess that u got no knowledge of football.u seem to a biased fool, always supporting this woeful team and its coach.its high time u shut up and face up to reality.u scumbag
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