Senegal take on Benin in Cairo on Wednesday in the first of the AFCON 2019 quarter-final matches.
Senegal scraped past Uganda in the round of sixteen with a narrow 1-0 win whilst underdogs Benin overcame Morocco on penalties in a dramatic match.
Benin took a surprise lead when center-back Moise Adilehou converted from a corner in the 53rd minute of the game but Leganes striker Youssef En-Nesyri leveled for Morocco with 15 minutes left to play.
They must have thought their campaign was over when Morocco were awarded a penalty in injury-time however Hakim Ziyech struck the post, sending the game into extra-time.
Benin were reduced to ten men when Khaled Adenon was sent off in the first half of extra-time however they hung on to eventually win 4-1 on penalties.
Despite only seeing 33% of the ball possession and registering just seven shots to Morocco’s 22, Benin find themselves in their first ever Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final.
Senegal’s round of sixteen match was a lot less eventful. Sadio Mane’s 15th minute strike secured his team’s place in the last eight.
The Liverpool forward had the chance to make it 2-0 in the second half but he failed to convert a spot-kick after being brought down by the Ugandan goalkeeper.
Senegal have only conceded one goal in the competition so far whilst scoring six times along the way.
Benin have scored three and conceded three in their four matches and registered two goalless draws in the group stage.
Despite Senegal’s wealth of talent over the years, The Lions of Teranga have never claimed an AFCON title.
Their best finish came in 2002. They finished as runners-up that year after agonizingly losing the final on penalties to Cameroon.
Senegal’s star-studded squad will be desperate to go one better this time around and they come into this quarter-final clash as firm favorites.
The two teams have faced each other on six occasions previously. Senegal have claimed four wins whilst Benin’s sole victory came all the way back in 1961.
Benin will need to find a replacement for Khaled Adenon in their back line. The defender’s red card in the round of sixteen means he is suspended and cannot feature on Wednesday.
Senegal are favorites to progress into the semi-finals and given their defensive record so far in the tournament, they could well keep another clean sheet.
PREDICTION : SENEGAL 1-0
ACCUMULATOR TIP : SENEGAL 1.52 @ BETKING