The 2019 AFCON has been a haven of surprises…..but not this time. Senegal, the favorites did qualify. It wasn’t an easy battle though as they had to labor to break down a very defensively organized Benin side. Idrissa Gana Gueye’s strike in the 70th minute was all it took for Senegal to emerge victorious in this fiercely contested battle. Below are 6 interesting facts from the game:
Benin’s Game Plan
Benin surrendered possession to the Senegalese and sought to catch them on the break. They did so by being defensively organized. They repeatedly switched from a 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 shape without the ball in order to crowd out the middle and force the Senegalese wide, which worked to perfection in the first half.

Senegal Responds
Senegal on the other hand were very patient in the build-up phase. They occasionally tried the long balls as a means of penetrating through Benin’s well-organized defense. However, they upped the tempo of their game in the second half and resorted to using through balls and as a result, scored the solitary goal when Sadio Mane played Gana through on goal.

M’Baye Niang?
It is very difficult to see any goal forthcoming for the Senegalese striker. He has been dreadful in front of goal. It is of little surprise that he is yet to register a goal – Olivier Giroud in the making, eh?

Senegal, Alas!
It is very surprising that Senegal has never won the AFCON. More so, the last time Senegal was in the semis in the AFCON dates as far back as 2006. With Aliou Cisse at the helm of affairs, they are determined to prove a point.

Gana Registers 3 Goals For Senegal
Gana’s strike after being put through on goal by Sadio Mane increases his national team goal tally to 3.

Olivier Verdon, Immense! The Deportivo Alaves central defender was in inspired form as he marshalled the Benin defense and was largely the reason why the scores remained 0-0 at half time. He will definately be dissapointed as he picked up a red card.

Source: Baiden Gideon