All about Bafana's opponents Benin
SA must watch out for tall striker Mounie
As Bafana Bafana get their World Cup qualifiers campaign under way by hosting Benin at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, we bring to light a few facts about Les Guépards (The Cheetahs) who are winless in their last 10 games.
Key players: Steve Mounie, Cédric Hountondji and Saturnin Allagbé
Mounie, a 1,90m tall striker on the books of French League1 side Brest, is one of Benin’s influential stars with 14 goals for his nation from 45 games. The 29-year-old towering striker has already scored twice from 11 League1 outings this term.
Hountondji, who represented his country of birth, France, at youth level is a rock solid defender with unrivalled tactical awareness. The 29-year-old centre-back plays for Angers in the second-tier of French football. Hountondji has played 20 games for Benin.
With 41 caps, goalkeeper Allagbé is one of the most experienced players in the Benin squad. Allagbé, 29, currently plays for French third-tier side Dijon. The tried and tested shot-stopper was an instrumental figure when Benin reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.
Form in the last five games: DDLDL (all games were played this year)
March 22; played a 1-all draw at home to Rwanda in Afcon qualifiers
June 17; drew 1-all against Senegal at home
September 9; beaten 3-2 by Mozambique in Afcon qualifiers in Maputo
October 14; played a 1-all draw against Sierra Leone in Morocco
October 17; lost 2-1 to Madagascar in a friendly played in Morocco.
NB: Benin last won a game when they beat Zambia 2-1 in a friendly, played in Turkey, on March 27 last year.
Benin are ranked 93rd by Fifa and 20th by CAF. Bafana are 29 places ahead of them in the Fifa ratings, while SA are ranked 12th continentally.
Head-to-head against Bafana
Benin and Bafana have met only once before, in the 2024 Afcon in Tunisia, with SA emerging 2-0 winners thanks to Siyabonga Nomvethe’s double in Sfax, Tunisia.
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