AFCON qualifier: Big boost for Eagles as Benin drop Sessègnon

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Ebenezer Bajela

Captain Stéphane Sessègnon has been dropped by the Benin Republic Football Federation ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Nigeria on March 27.

The country’s FA announced a 23-man provisional squad list for their upcoming 2021 AFCON qualifiers with Sessègnon, who has been without a club since August 2020, omitted from the squad.

The Squirrels host the Super Eagles at the Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto-Novo, Benin.

The midfielder was part of coach Michel Dussuyer’s squad that lost 2-1 to the Eagles in the first fixture of the AFCON qualifiers at The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on November 11, 2019.

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He scored the opener off a well-taken freekick’ before the Eagles staged a comeback win, with goals from Victor Osimhen and Samuel Kalu sealing the hard-earned victory.

According to the list, three goalkeepers, eight defenders, seven midfielders and five forwards have all been invited for the must-win clash against the three-time African champions.

There is a first-time call-up for Paris Saint-Germain right-back Colin Dagba, whose availability depends on the player’s decision to accept the invitation.

The 22-year-old, who was born in Béthune, France, is a member of the current France U-21 side and last featured for the French in a 3-1 win over Switzerland in an U-21 Euro qualifier last November.

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Steve Mounié, who plays as a striker for French Ligue 1 club Brest and Melbourne Victory striker, Rudy Gestede, are some of the top names in the list released by Dussuyer.
The referee for the game is Moroccan Jiyed Redouane and he will be assisted by three of his compatriots: Azgaou Lahsen (1st assistant), Akarkad Mostafa (2nd assistant) and Guezzaz Samir (4th referee).
Burkinabé David Yaméogo is the match commissioner.

Nigeria currently top Group L with eight points after four round of matches, with Benin second with seven points.

Full list:

Goalkeepers: Saturnin Allagbé (Dijon, France), Hariston Hessou (Bahir Dar, Ethopia), Marcel Dandjinou (JDR Stars, S’Africa)

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Defenders: Khaled Adénon (US Avranches, France), Youssouf Assogba (Amiens, France), Cédric Hountondji (Clermont Foot, France), David Kiki (PFC Montana, Bulgaria), Olivier Verdon (Ludogorets, Bulgaria), Emmanuel Imorou (Evian, France), Nabyl Yarou (Enyimba), Collins Dagba (PSG, France)

Midfielders: Sessi d ‘Almeida (Valenciennes, France), Jérôme Bonou (Djoliba, Mali), Jordan Adéoti (Annecy, France), Rodrigue Cossi (Club Africain, Tunisia), Anaane Tidjani (Menemen Spor, Turkey), Cébio Soukou (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Jodel Dossou (Clermont Foot, France)

Forwards : Mickael Pote (Bandirmaspor, Turkey), Marcellin Koukpo (CR Belouizdad, Algeria), Jacques Bessan (Olympique Beja, Tunisia), Rudy Gestede (Melbourne, Australia), Steve Mounié (Brest, France)

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