Benin strike late to down Guinea in WAFU Cup thriller

A 93rd-minute goal from Jerome Bonou handed Benin a 2-1 win over Guinea in game 8 of the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Stade Lat Dior in Thies, Senegal on Tuesday.

Guinea started strong and almost took the lead in the 11th minute when Jean Mouste unleashed a 30-yard pile-driver, but the Benin keeper made a fantastic acrobatic save to deny him.

Three minutes later Guinea were at it again after some individual brilliance from Michael Millimeno saw him beat two defenders before firing a shot from the edge of the box inches over the target.

The Squirrels suffered a bit of a setback shortly after that with Salim Fadel Bawa leaving the field with a broken leg which saw Gaston Houngbedji enter the game.

The change, although forced, turned out to be one of inspiration with Houngbedji opening the scoring in the 27th minute with a clinical 10-yard finish after wrapping up a swift passing move by Benin to make it 1-0.

Gaston Houngbedji of Benin celebrates after scoring a goal in the WAFU Cup against Guinea.
Gaston Houngbedji of Benin celebrates after scoring a goal in the WAFU Cup against Guinea.

Guinea controlled possession after that and tried to hit back before the break but were unable to penetrate the opposition defence.

It was more of the same at the start of the second half with Guinea unable to fashion any decent scoring chances until the 67th minute when substitute Alpha Oumar Sow found himself in space 14-yards out, but he fired straight at the keeper who made a good reflex save.

Saliou Idrissou should have put the result beyond doubt in 71st minute when he slipped in behind the defence, but the Benin striker shot wide with just the keeper to beat.

Guinea threw players forward in the final twenty minutes in search of an equaliser and found it in the 88th minute when substitute Morlaye Sylla superbly curled a 20-yard free kick into the top corner of the net to level the score.

The match looked to be heading for a penalty shootout, but Benin had other ideas with Bonou scoring the winning goal in the 93rd minute after firing home a loose ball from 14-yards out for the win.

The Squirrels will now progress into the quarterfinals of the Cup competition where they will play Senegal on Oct. 3, while Guinea will take part in the Plate quarterfinals against Guinea-Bissau on the same day.