Benin v Guinea-Bissau: Dussuyer backs Benin to deal with expectation
Benin head coach Michel Dussuyer believes his players are equipped to chase a maiden win in the Africa Cup of Nations against Guinea-Bissau.
A brace from Mickael Franck Pote helped the Squirrels to a 2-2 draw when faced with a much-fancied Ghana side in their opening Group F match.
However, versus opponents ranked 118th in the world by FIFA, Dussuyer and his players must now deal with a weight of expectation.
"All my players are ready physically and mentally to win the next match," the 60-year-old, who is in his second spell as Benin boss having led Ivory Coast's unsuccessful defence of their title at the 2017 AFCON, told a pre-match news conference.
"I respect Guinea-Bissau and it won't be an easy game."
Benin are boosted by having veteran attacker Stephane Sessegnon back from suspension.
"We have to play a better game against Guinea-Bissau in order to qualify for the next round," he told a news conference, acknowledging defending champions Cameroon lie in wait in their final round-robin match.
"There's no pressure on us and we want to leave our mark on this tournament."
Guinea-Bissau went down to a 2-0 loss against the Indomitable Lions, but head coach Baciro Cande saw positives and feels there is no need to deviate from their approach.
"The game against Benin will be hard," he told reporters.
"We'll play with the same strategy we played with against Cameroon.
"We hope to take the points against a good team."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Benin – Mickael Franck Pote
French-born and well-travelled over the course of a career that has featured spells in Germany, Cyprus and latterly Turkey, the 34-year-old forward was the star of Benin's impressive start to the tournament. Pote's early opener against Ghana displayed pace, strength and composure under pressure to finish, while his second-half equaliser was a classic poacher's effort. Guinea-Bissau have been duly warned.
Guinea-Bissau – Piqueti
A lively and versatile wide forward, Piqueti will carry Guinea-Bissau's main attacking threat. He came the closest to finding a breakthrough against Cameroon, heading against the post after half-time.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Benin are winless in their 10 games in the Africa Cup of Nations (D2 L8). Only Mozambique (12) have played more games in the competition without winning once.
- Guinea-Bissau are winless in their four games in the tournament (D1 L3), conceding at least one goal in each of these games (7 goals conceded).
- Pote's brace against Ghana was only the second time Benin have managed two goals in an AFCON game following their January 2010 encounter with Mozambique, which also ended 2-2.
- Benin have conceded 2.2 goals per game in the Africa Cup of Nations (22 in 10 games), the second-worst average behind Ethiopia (2.3 – 61 goals conceded in 27 games) among teams to have played at least 10 games in the competition.