Benin, Cape Verde battle for group stage berth

Benin, Cape Verde battle for group stage berth

Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 12:00

Benin and Cape Verde will battle over a group stage berth when they meet in a first round 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations knockout match at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Tuesday, kick-off at 18h00 local Ghanaian time.

Known by the nickname ‘The Squirrels’, Benin will be making their third appearance at the WAFU Cup of Nations.

They debuted in the 2010 edition in Nigeria, where they finished bottom of their group after losses to the hosts and Guinea, while their second showing at the 2013 edition in Ghana saw them finish second in their group behind the hosts before losing the third-place playoff to Togo.

Known by the nickname ‘Blue Sharks’, Cape Verde will be making their second appearance at the WAFU Cup, though they are yet to actually play an official match in the competition.

They were part of the field at the inaugural tournament in Ivory Coast 2002 which was cancelled due to the outbreak of civil war, and didn’t make the cut for the 2010, 2011 and 2013 editions.

Benin’s locally-based side were recently in action when they were narrowly beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Nigeria in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 African Nations Championship.

Cape Verde did not enter that competition, though their full senior side made headlines earlier this month by defeating South Africa in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers.

Benin and Cape Verde will be meeting in their first official international match, according to FIFA’s statistical database.

The winners of this match will occupy position 4 in Group 2 and face either Ivory Coast or Togo in their opening second round match.