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7 Interesting Things To Know About Squirrels of Benin Republic Ahead Super Eagles Clash 

7 Interesting Things To Know About Squirrels of Benin Republic Ahead Super Eagles Clash 

The Squirrels of Benin Republic will host the Super Eagles of Nigeria on matchday five of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers in Porto Novo, on Saturday March 27th.

In their first encounter in the qualifiers, the Eagles came from a goal down to win 2-1 in 2019 in Uyo.

The current standing in the group has the Eagles top on eight points while Benin Republic are second with seven points.

And ahead of this weekend’s clash, Completesports.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at SEVEN interesting things to know about the Squirrels of Benin Republic.

– First International Match Was Against Nigeria

Benin Republic’s first ever international match was against Nigeria.

Then known as Dahomey, the game was played on 8th of November 1959.

Despite playing at home, after 90 minutes of football the Nigerian team triumphed 1-0.

– Biggest Ever Defeat Was Against Nigeria 

Till date, Benin Republic’s biggest ever defeat came in the hands of Nigeria which was played on 28th of November 1959.

Still known then as Dahomey, the French speaking side were hammered 10-1 by their Nigerian hosts.

Also Read: 2021 AFCON Qualifiers: Super Eagles Hit Gym For Benin, Lesotho

– First AFCON Appearance Was At The 2004 Edition In Tunisia

After many failed attempts, the Squirrels of Benin Republic finally qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 in Tunisia.

However, it was not a memorable debut as they were drawn in the same group with heavyweights Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa.

They ended up losing all their three group games (lost 2-1 to Nigeria in last group game) to crash out of the tournament.

– Best Outing At AFCON Was In Egypt 2019

Benin Republic’s best ever campaign at the AFCON was at the 2019 competition in Egypt where they went all the way to the quarter-finals.

After drawing all their group games (grouped with Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau), they qualified into the round of 16 as one of the third best placed teams.

And in the round of 16, they shocked Morocco 4-1 on penalties after 120 minutes of football ended 1-1.

They eventually bowed out of the tournament after losing 1-0 to finalists Senegal.

-Most Capped Player/Top Scorer His Stephane Sessegnon

The player with the most appearances for Benin Republic is 36-year-old former PSG, Sunderland and West Brom forward Stephane Sessegnon.

Since he made his debut in 2004 he has so far gone on to make 83 appearances for his country.

Also he is Benin Republic’s top goal scorer after finding the back of the net 24 times.

-Have Only Beaten Nigeria Once In Their History

In the 15  clashes they’ve had against Nigeria, the Squirrels have tasted victory just once.

The victory came in 2017 during the first-leg of the 2018 CHAN final round qualifiers in Cotonou.

The Beninoise won 1-0 after they were awarded an 87th minute penalty converted by Seibou Mama.

In the return leg  played inside the Sani Abacha stadium, the home-based Eagles won 2-0 and qualified for the 2018 CHAN in Morocco.

-Last Suffered Home Defeat Against Nigeria 31 Years Ago

The last time Benin Republic lost at home to Nigeria was in 1990, during qualifiers for the 1992 AFCON in Senegal.

Parading the likes of Alloy Agu, Benedict Iroha, Mutiu Adepoju, late Ajibade Babalade, Friday Elahor and Moses Kpakor, the Eagles won the game 1-0 thanks to a 55th minute goal by Ishaya Jatau.

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  • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

    “…After drawing all their group games (grouped with Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau), they qualified into the round of 16 as one of the third best placed teams. And in the round of 16, they shocked Morocco 4-1 on penalties after 120 minutes of football ended 1-1. They eventually bowed out of the tournament after losing 1-0 to finalists Senegal…”

    The above highlighted performance of the Squirrels in their last international tournament indicates they are a die hard team, not one to lay down to be rolled over. Heavy weights do not come bigger than the form of Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal and to have stretched all these teams shows they are one to make you sweat to grind out a result. In the AFCON qualifiers so far its either they are winning (1-0 vs both S/L and Lesotho) or losing my a goal margin (2-1 vs Nigeria) when they are not playing a draw (0-0 away to Lesotho). That speaks much of the way the team is set up: not so much of an adventurous team (hardly score more than a goal per game), but you will need to pass through the gates of hell for you to breach their backline.

    How Gernot Rohr and his wards plan to scale the Benin hurdle remains to be seen come Saturday the 27th of March. But from his antecedents, tricky deciders such as this always sees him taking the cautious approach to just ‘Get the job done’, Seal the ticket without much ado and return for the final game in the series to consolidate. A return to a 3-5-2 set-up is most likely and a score draw wouldn’t be a thing of surprise.

    But 1 thing is sure, come what may, Nigeria joins the likes of Cameroon, Tunisia, Algeria, Senegal and Mali in the 2021 AFCON come this weekend.

    • Greenturf 3 years ago

      Indeed Nigeria shall join the rest of the teams you mentioned,nice piece @Dr drey.
      The squirrels of Benin republic,as cowardly as the name sounds,does not give a true picture of a solid side that has proved it’s mettle against top oppositions in the continent.
      However,teams like this are vulnerable playing at home against top sides especially when they need to win.The experience required to pull a victory in this kind of game against a big team like the super eagles may be lacking and this would put them in a lot of pressure and a few mistakes will be capitalized on by the strike force of in form Kelechi Iheanacho and tireless goalpoacher Victor Osimhen.

    • Progress okpako 3 years ago

      The Super eagles will destroy Beninis. Watch out for Samuel Chukwueze.He is the man that will destroy the Beninis. Believed me.

  • Emmanuel 3 years ago

    Thanks Dr.Drey,just hope others can understand the true meaning of analysis.Condemnation is not part of it.

    You have stated what and how we should go about dealing with the Benenoirs menace without insulting and calling names.Your point is clear enough for all to see.

  • Collins id 3 years ago

    If rohr fails to beat Benin in cotonou (even if na 1 0) it will be a big shame on him! A draw will be complete rubbish, there is nothing special about Benin republic (reached quarter final without winning a single match) as far as I am concerned we have the best players in africa’ our players are scoring goals and assisting goals every weeks, defenders are in their best form, rohr have to go there and simply win if not he should resign! What is the hope for Nations cup if he cannot beat Serrie leon and Benin republic? I can smell that some of his fans have lost hope and they are gradually reducing their expectations to now negotiating a draw with small Benin republic I guess the shock of Serrie leon is still fresh in their minds, mean while rohr is already preaching the regular hopeless simons of how difficult it will be” with all the stars that we have in rohr disposal I will not accept a draw from him, not after failing to beat Serrie leon at list he have to make it up with this match.

    We want to win the afcon in cameron and also reach the quarter final in the next world cup in qater, that is our simple agenda, if rohr knows that it’s impossible for him to achieve he should please step down the work nor be by force.

    Wait oh! Who is abacha to be named after a stadium? A man that stole billions of dollars from the country to swiss bank. A dictator that took power by force’ jailed and killed so many important Nigerians, stopped the supereagles from defending their title in south africa 1996 leading to a fifa ban in the following year, is been named after a stadium’ na wa oh, Nigeria which way?

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Hehehehe….pls go and sack him if he doesn’t beat Benin republic…LMAO. Simple and short.

      You will tell us how you will win the afcon in Cameroon without qualifying first…LMAO….maybe the way you won the ones in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012, 2015 and 2017….LMAO

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