Leone Stars line-up against Benin
By Abubakarr Kamara
A 28 minute individual brilliance by Jordel Dossou was enough to give the Squirrels all three points against the Leone Stars to stay second in Group L with three points from two matches while Leone Stars have dropped to third place.
The Squirrels of Benin started the match with great intensity forcing the Leone stars to defend right inside their own half for much of the first 10 minutes. The visitors conceded three corners in succession before they were able to make their first appearance in the penalty area of the host.
The Leone Stars gradually settled into the match until the 28th minute, when they won a corner and lose concentration. The Benin players brilliantly defended the corner kick and defender, Youssouf Assogba made a brilliant pass to Jordel Dossou, who sent the ball behind Hassan Sesay as he tried to defend from the left. Dossou collected the self-pass behind Sesay and blasted into the penalty area unmarked before hammering a right-footed shot that sent the AFCON debutant, Mohamed N. Kamara the other way.
In the second half, the Leone Stars came in strongly making fantastic movement and controlling possession for much of the half. Mustapha Bundu got an opportunity in the 54th minute when he ran through the defense and release a right footer but his shot hit the foot of the goalkeeper before it was cleared away and few minutes later, Ibrahim Conteh headed wide over the cross bar from a corner kick.
The Squirrels woke up from the double scare and in the 60th minute, Stephane Sessegnon’s thunder shot hit the post before Mohamed N Kamara cleverly collected a volley by Steev Mountie from the rebound.
The young debutant made another superb save to deprive the Benin captain an opportunity to increase the goal margin as he parried a closed range shot that was cleared away by Umaru Bangura.
Despite the numerous build-up on both sides, few chances were created with no clear goalscoring opportunities.
At the sound of the whistle to mark the end of the match, it was BENIN 1 SIERRA LEONE 0.
At the post match conference, coach Sellas Tetteh had this to say: “We defended very well but lose concentration the moment we took the match to our opponent and conceded a goal. We would have been very happy to go home with a point but in football such things happen. The weather condition was also not in our favour but we played our game and unlucky to get a goal”.
The Benin Coach, Michel Dussuyer heaped praises on the visitors and thanked his boys for what he described as “a step towards AFCON 2021”. “We scores when we had the opportunity though we had wanted to do so in the first 10 minutes. We needed to score more games so we played our best but the opponent defended very well and also created problems for our defense. In the end, it’s the three points that matter,” he concluded at the post match conference.
Meanwhile, Lesotho were defeated at home to Nigeria 4-2. Nigeria continue to top the group with 6 points while Lesotho are now bottom of the group.