A ten-man Benin blew Group D of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign wide open after registering a slender 1-0 win over Algeria at the Stade de l’Amitié in Cotonou on Tuesday.
Benin started really positively and opened the scoring in the 16th minute courtesy of a well-taken goal by Sessi D’Almeida, 1-0.
The home side continued to dictate terms after that, but following their goal Benin lacked punch in the final third and struggled to break down the Algerian defence.
As the half progressed Algeria got more comfortable on the ball and started created scoring chances of their own, but still they entered the half time break trailing by a goal.
Ten minutes into the second half Benin suffered a massive set-back when they were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Stephane Sessegnon.
With Benin on the back foot Algeria pushed forward, but the home side’s defence stood strong and were able to thwart attack after attack – it also helped that the Algerians shooting in and around the 18-yard box was poor.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of Benin who picked up their second win in Group D as they moved joint on seven points with Algeria, but in second place on goal difference while Gambia and Togo are on three points each.
The loss for Algeria is their first in their 2019 Afcon qualifying campaign and blows Group D wide open depending on what happens between Gambia and Togo who are currently in action (kick-off was at 18h30 CAT).