Defending champions Cameroon take on Benin in their final Group F match at the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Egypt 2019 on Tuesday night in Ismailia looking to pick maximum points and finish top of the pool.
The Indomitable Lions sit top of the pile with four points off a win (2-0 v Guinea Bissau) and a draw (0-0 v Ghana) and victory against Benin’s Les Écureuils will assure them of finishing top with seven points.
A draw will still suffice for them to go through to the round of 16, but that will mean Ghana might potentially pip them to finish top depending on if they beat Guinea Bissau in the other group match and by what margin.
This is an arithmetic that Clarence Seerdof and his Indomitable Lions will look to avoid engaging in as they eye maximum points from the ultimate clash.
With a talented squad that is lead from the back by one of the world’s elite goalkeepers Andre Onana, Cameroon walk into the tie with a heap of confidence especially against an opponent they have never lost against in a competitive tie.
The most recent meetings between the two sides was in the qualification for the 2006 World Cup where Cameroon won 2-1 at home in 2004 and finished off the job with a 4-1 thrashing in the corresponding tie in 2005.
But, 14 years might be such a long time and things might have changed.
Benin, led by their inspirational skipper Stephen Ssesegnon know they have a chance of qualifying to the knockout phases for the first time in their history. With two points off back to back draws against Guinea Bissau and Ghana, Benin can go through with a win.
However, a point might leave them a window of opportunity to go through as one of the four best placed number three teams, only if Group E results go in their favor.
Benin qualified for the Cup of Nations for the first time since 2010 and walk into the tie looking for a historic result.
What they said
Michel Dussuyer – Benin coach
We have respect for Cameroon but no fear. Every game we play to win even if the opponents are of a different caliber. The important thing is to recover and I'm sure that my players will be ready. Let's try to improve our level and not only in relation to tomorrow's game, but I'm also looking at the long term.
Steve Mounié – Benin striker
We have already achieved very good performances against big African teams like Algeria and we need to quickly focus on this one against Cameroon. I don’t think we have a problem of efficiency in the team. Just because we started poorly in the first match does not mean we are not able to score. We will try and prove that.
Clarence Seedorf - Cameroon coach
To be one of the best number three teams does not interest us. We go into the field to win the match. Of course, in the last minutes of the last game (against Ghana), we increased the tempo to try to win, but each opponent is different.
Our mentality is to start every game to win. Pressure is not part of our vocabulary. For us, it's about passion and happiness to be on the field even if our goal is to win.
Stéphane Bahoken - Cameroon striker
We are aiming for three points to be sure of progressing. If we lose our journey might end here and that’s not what we want. We are already used to being here and we are used to the grass and that’s an advantage for us.